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Mississippi Power, East Mississippi Connect reach deal to expand rural broadband access in Lauderdale, Kemper counties

Gulfport, Miss. – Mississippi Power and East Mississippi Connect have reached an agreement to expand rural broadband access in underserved areas of Lauderdale and Kemper counties.

East Mississippi Connect, a wholly owned subsidiary of East Mississippi Electric Power Association, has agreed to lease dark fiber along Mississippi Power’s transmission lines that run through Kemper and Lauderdale counties to improve rural internet access.

This is the first agreement reached by Mississippi Power to lease its dark fiber since a broadband bill (SB 2798) was passed by the Mississippi Legislature and signed by Gov. Tate Reeves earlier this year. The bill allows Mississippi Power to lease its fiber to a third-party internet provider.  

“We appreciate the leadership of Gov. Reeves, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hoseman, Speaker Phillip Gunn and the Mississippi Public Service Commission. The efforts of House Public Utilities Chairman Scott Bounds and Senate Energy Committee Chairman Joel Carter to pass this legislation should also be commended,” Mississippi Power President and CEO Anthony Wilson said. “Partnering with East Mississippi Connect means more Mississippians will have access to better, faster internet service. This is a true win-win.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Mississippi Power to expand our opportunity of reaching an even greater number of rural communities with access to high-speed fiber internet,” East Mississippi Electric Power Association Chief Executive Officer Randy Carroll said.

About Mississippi Power

Now in its 96th year of operations, Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and affordable energy for nearly 191,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power recently was a recipient of the Community Partner Impact Award from the Center for Energy Workforce Development for its innovative and ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce. With nearly 160 megawatts of approved solar energy capacity, Mississippi Power is the largest partner in providing renewable energy in the state of Mississippi. Visit our websites at and, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterInstagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

About East Mississippi Connect

East Mississippi Connect, established in 2020 as a subsidiary of East Mississippi Electric Power Association, is bringing world-class internet access to rural east Mississippi communities through a fiber-to-the-home network. East Mississippi Connect fiber internet is provided with free installation, no activation fees, no contracts, no data caps and no throttling. Visit to learn more about this project and its positive impact for east Mississippi. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.