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Rural internet work taking shape

By April Sowell
Rural residents longing for broadband internet can feel confident that their dream is moving closer to coming true, according to officials familiar with the work.
In 2021, Missouri-based communications company Conexon began receiving federal money to bring broadband to rural Southwest Mississippi.
The company began work this fall.
“Conexon has signed a pole lease agreement with Magnolia Electric. This is a standard agreement, like we have with the phone company and other providers, that allows the company to use our poles,” Magnolia Electric Power general manager Darrell Smith said. “Interstate 55 divides our service area. Conexon has started work east of I-55. They have completed the engineering phase in Salem and Tylertown, and they will begin the next phase of make-ready work in January.”
Smith said residents of Salem, Tylertown, Dexter and Jayess areas should see crews moving in at the beginning of the new year.
“During this phase, Conexon will install anchors and make all changes needed to prepare the poles for their equipment. Any company attaching to our poles must move through these phases,” he said.
Conexon is expected to move west as the work continues, taking three to four years to complete the job in the entire area, Smith said.
Conexon plans to eventually establish a presence in the community, allowing rural residents to begin to sign-up for the service.

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