ASHLAND – Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is asking for volunteers in Benton County to serve on a task force aimed at highlighting the lack of adequate cellular telephone and high-speed internet service in the area.
Commissioner Presley will also ask the tasks force members to assist the Public Service Commission in documenting the lack of cellular telephone service and data service by using a free smartphone app approved by the Federal Communications Commission. Currently, the FCC shows that Mississippi has adequate cellular telephone service in almost every county. Because of this, Mississippi is in danger of losing millions in federal funding for cellular telephone towers in rural areas. To preserve the funding, the Mississippi Public Service Commission and others must prove the FCC data is wrong. The task force will also evaluate the lack of high-speed internet service in Attala County along with seeking solutions that would enable affordable, high-speed service for all residents.
“Rural Mississippi has an infrastructure crisis in the lack of cellular telephone service and high-speed internet service. Mississippians are sick and tired of paying for a service that doesn't work or being told that providers have no intention of serving their areas. That is unacceptable to me and through the help of these citizen task forces, we are going to highlight this problem and demand answers," Presley said. "The information gathered that we will use to prove that the FCC's maps for funding are wrong will be due soon, so we have a lot of work to do in a very short time. That is why citizen volunteers are so very important."
If you would like to be a part of a task force in your area please call 1-800-637-7722 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.