Tallahatchie County task force meeting on cellular, internet service set Monday in Sumner

By SPECIAL TO THE SUN-SENTINEL,

SUMNER — Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (pictured) announced Monday that the first meeting of the Tallahatchie County task force on improving cellular telephone and high-speed internet service will be held Monday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., at the Tallahatchie County Courthouse in Sumner.

“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.”

Among other projects, citizens involved with the task force will be able to use a free smartphone app, approved by the Federal Trade Commission, to document the lack of cellular telephone and data service in their area.

The FCC currently shows that Mississippi has adequate service in almost every county of the state. This false information could cause Mississippi to lose millions in federal funding for cellular telephone towers in rural areas, Presley noted.

Also, the task force will meet with leaders to look at what solutions exist to bring high-speed internet service to rural areas.

“While we have had many volunteers, we always welcome more. This meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend,” said Presley.

Anyone interested in serving on the task force should contact Presley’s office at 1-800-637-7722.