New tower expected to improve rural service

Published 7:50 pm Thursday, September 20, 2018

Some areas of rural Warren County will be able to get high-speed Internet service following the installation of a new tower in the southern part of the county off Mississippi 27.

AT&T officials announced service, called fixed wireless Internet, Thursday in front of the recently installed tower.

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“What this does is provide speeds up to 10 megabits per second to rural customers in this part of the state,” said AT&T spokesman Michael Walker. “This tower is extremely high, so it can reach out. Normally on a clear day with flat terrain, this tower can go up to almost 10 miles in coverage. But depending on the terrain and other conditions, we don’t expect this one to have but 5 miles coverage.”

Walker said the service was the result of funding from the Federal Communications Commission. “We have until 2020 to pass over 130,000 households in the state,” he said. “We have this up in 62 counties and we’ve already approached about 80,000 customers who we have passed as eligible for the service.

“We still have work to do, but we’re excited we’re able to bring this to Vicksburg and Warren County. This is actually the fourth location in Vicksburg and Warren County.”

The service involves a signal sent from the tower to an outdoor antenna on the house. The antenna then relays the signal inside the house to a device called a WI-FI gateway that sends the signal to other computers in the house.

“We have some customers who are using it across the state, and we’re just pleased to bring it to Vicksburg and Warren County,” Walker said.

State Sen. Briggs Hopson called the system “another great way that we can work together” to help children be better students and help business.

“The most important thing we see is the opportunity for children at home to have access to unlimited information and educational opportunities to augment what they’re learning in school,” Board of Supervisor President Richard George said.

“It’s one bite of the apple, five miles at a time, we’re growing Mississippi,” state Rep. Kevin Ford said. “We’re just happy AT&T took the time to do it here in Vicksburg and we are growing, so any help we can get is appreciated, so let’s get the next one.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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