January 29, 2021 PearlComm RDOF announcement

Pearl River Valley EPA subsidiary PearlComm awarded over $25 million through FCC Rural Digital Opportunity Fund to bring world-class fiber broadband service to south central Mississippi homes and businesses

Columbia, Miss.– Pearl River Valley Electric Power Association’s (EPA) wholly-owned subsidiary, PearlComm, has secured more than $25 million through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction to launch and deploy gigabit speed-capable broadband service.

Pearl River Valley Electric previously announced the formation of the fiber broadband entity and its intent to launch a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to serve 100% of the 51,000-plus homes and businesses in the EPA’s 12-county electric service territory.  

The funds secured through the RDOF auction will enable PearlComm to more quickly build out the network to members, providing them with the economic, community and lifestyle benefits of reliable and affordable world-class internet service.  PearlComm’s five year deployment will encompass 4,700 miles of fiber offering access to FTTH broadband throughout the entire territory served by the co-op.

PearlComm’s 100% fiber network will be dependable and robust, and unlike many technology mediums, allow for ultra-fast speeds for both downloading and uploading. This symmetrical (up and down) speed and the power of fiber allows multiple users and devices at the same time without any service degradation. The fiber network will enable access to many critical services the needs for which have been so illuminated by the pandemic – remote learning, working from home, staying connected with loved ones and virtual doctor visits among them.

“Our mission to make lives and communities better through affordable, reliable and quality services carries through to our fiber broadband service,” Pearl River Valley Electric General Manager Matthew Ware said. “We are extremely pleased by our success in the RDOF auction and look forward to leveraging that funding to benefit all our members.”

Pearl River Valley Electric was a member of the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium, a bidding entity of over 90 cooperatives coordinated and led by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon to secure RDOF funds. Overall, Conexon’s RECC was awarded $1.1 billion, enabling electric cooperatives across 22 states to deliver world-class FTTH service to over 2 million rural Americans.

“The Mississippi electric power association broadband story is an extremely positive one,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “Through the efforts of EPAs such as Pearl River Valley, lives and communities are being changed for the better. We are proud that Matthew and his team chose to participate in our consortium and congratulate them on their auction success.”

Pearl River Valley Electric is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative that distributes electricity to more than 51,000 members in 12-counties in central and south Mississippi.  It is headquartered in Columbia and has offices in Hattiesburg, Purvis and Wiggins.


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