DeSoto Co major broadband connection problem - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

DeSoto Co major broadband connection problem

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HERNANDO, Miss. (FOX13) -

For more than a year, members of the DeSoto County Board of Supervisors have been trying to fix a connection problem.

"My neighbors that lived 100 yards from me had Internet service for five years," said Harvey Lee, board supervisor. "People who lived south of me near the airport has service. Took me five years. I visited AT&T every day that I could to try to get it, and finally I guess they got tired of me and I got it, but that's the example we're having everywhere over the county."

MORE: DeSoto County pushes for broadband

Thousands say they don't have high speed service, Which is why the board created a survey to get more concrete numbers.

"All the red spots are the holes," said Lee Caldwell, showing a map of Shelby County. "We look like Swiss cheese. There are holes all over the county that cannot receive high speed Internet."

There is the map by the Federal Communications Commission showing only a few spots in the entire state are without high speed Internet service, even though there are at least 14,000 residents in Desoto county alone saying they don't have broadband service."

Federal funding for communications is based on the shaded areas of the map, but the FCC says there are only a few areas where residents are without broadband.

"The map is wrong," said Brandon Presley, Mississippi Public Service Commissioner. "If the map is wrong, the funding formula is wrong and we're going to lose money in this state, if we don't get this corrected."

Presley said the broadband holes translates into millions of dollars lost for the state and that the lack of service affects the entire community.

"Small business owners throughout DeSoto county, throughout Mississippi, need the ability to get on the Internet," he said. "They need the ability to sell their products all over the world. This creates jobs, it helps the economy, but also it's a convenience issue. It's an education issue."

The plan is to show the FCC all of the names by the end of the week, with a goal of having a more realistic map from the FCC by the spring.

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