In an era where fast and reliable internet connectivity has become more than a luxury but, for most, a necessity, the successful completion of the three-year DE Fastlink broadband deployment project is a milestone worth celebrating. This month, DE Fastlink will open the last area in our fiber project, making access to high-speed internet available for all Dixie Electric members. This ambitious endeavor has not only met the needs of our members but has also positively impacted our local community.
From the beginning, the goal was clear: to provide reliable and affordable high-speed internet access to every corner of our service area. Recognizing the importance of bridging the digital divide, we aimed to bring connectivity to unserved and underserved communities, empowering individuals, and fostering economic growth. We are proud to announce that we have finished more than a year earlier than scheduled, ensuring our community can access this vital service sooner.
Throughout this journey, our members have demonstrated remarkable patience and understanding. We are immensely grateful for their support and unwavering belief in our commitment to deliver a high-quality service. We built this state-of-the-art system from the ground up, which took time – because we were determined to get it right. We faced numerous challenges during this project, including starting a business during a global pandemic, rising costs, and supply chain issues, but the confidence our members placed in us fueled our determination to overcome those challenges.
One of the key indicators of DE Fastlink’s success is the impressive take rate achieved throughout the deployment project. Currently averaging at 45 percent, with some areas reaching as high as 69 percent, it is evident that the demand for reliable internet services has been met with enthusiasm and gratitude by our members. These numbers also reflect the trust our members have placed in us. I can’t begin to express how thankful we are for the support we’ve received from our members, legislators, business owners, realtors, and our communities as a whole.
The impact of the DE Fastlink broadband project extends far beyond the realm of connectivity. The benefits to the local community are numerous. Education has been revolutionized, as students now have access to a wealth of online resources, enabling them to explore new horizons from home and unlock their full potential. Small businesses and entrepreneurs can now thrive in a digitally connected marketplace, boosting economic development, and creating employment opportunities. Telemedicine has become more accessible, ensuring that healthcare services reach those in need, regardless of their geographical location.
By completing this project ahead of schedule, we have been able to bring about positive change sooner than anticipated. The advantages of fast and reliable internet connectivity are now within the grasp of a larger portion of our community – Dixie Electric members. It’s a satisfying feeling to look at internet service maps and see the many areas in our service area that were once considered unserved and underserved and know we’ve removed those barriers. This achievement would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of our dedicated team and the unwavering support of our board of directors and board of managers.
As we celebrate the completion of the DE Fastlink project, I’d like to acknowledge the power of connectivity. This milestone serves as a testament to our shared commitment to building a stronger, more connected Mississippi. Together, we have taken a significant step toward a future where opportunities are abundant, knowledge knows no boundaries, and progress is within reach for all.