DeSoto Still Fighting for Service for Thousands without Internet

DeSoto Still Fighting for Service for Thousands without Internet

Almost 15,000 DeSoto County residents don't have access at home. After years of frustration, their plight will soon be heard by the federal government.
DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) - It's hard to believe, but in 2013, there are still thousands of Mid-Southerners who can't get the internet.

Almost 15,000 DeSoto County residents don't have access at home. After years of frustration, their plight will soon be heard by the federal government.

"14,120 citizens in DeSoto County that cannot get internet service - that's in the year 2013," says public service commissioner Brandon Presley. "In one of Mississippi's largest counties."

"It's really mind boggling that at this time we can't get a good internet connection out here," said Nancy Justice, who lives in Nesbit. "When the developer developed neighborhood he didn't have lay any lines. Phone lines, cable, anything."

That means Justice can't the get internet at home. But Ron Stoker, who lives a few miles away, can.

While he has the internet, Stoker knows many aren't as lucky. "I'd heard that. I just knew rural areas were a problem. I didn't know it was in the city."

Lack of broadband is a problem statewide. A map by Mississippi's Public Service Commission shows how the FCC views southern states.

"What you see shaded in orange are areas that lack broadband coverage," Presley points out. "You look at Mississippi and it looks like we've just got broadband coming out our ears."

Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley is working on getting the map changed, saying that is the key to bringing the internet to DeSoto's 14,000 in need.

"The map is wrong. If the map is wrong then federal funding is wrong. We're going to lose money in this state if we don't get this corrected."

DeSoto County officials made their own map based on the people who don't have internet. This month, they'll be sending that to the FCC along with those 14,120 names.

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