Tupelo, Mississippi, received a special visit from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 to celebrate the community as the “First TVA City.” The title described the community’s new electrification by the Tennessee Valley Authority, an event that incorporated federal assistance, local workers, and the start of rural electrification. Now, Tupelo is aiming for publicly owned fiber.
Yesterday Electricity...Today Fiber
Community leaders haven’t decided on a model yet, but they recently expressed an interest in expanding the Tupelo Water & Light fiber optic loop that runs around the city. The exiting network provides communications and management between utilities substations. Their goal is to put the infrastructure in place and collaborate with a private sector provider to bring better connectivity to local residents and businesses.
The Daily Journal reported that the project is a priority for the current administration:
The mayor believes that an expansive fiber optic network in the city will boost Tupelo’s desirability, particularly for the young professionals he wants to call the city home.
“We want to provide the incentive for people that need that high speed Internet to live here,” Shelton said.
Once a robust fiber optic network is in place, Shelton’s administration has discussed the possibility of a partnership with a private provider who would actually offer the residential access and manage the customer base.
Tupelo, Lee County, Mississippi
The city used to be well known as a transportation hub in the days when railroad intersections created busy urban centers. In recent years, Tupelo has capitalized on its bragging rights as the birthplace of Elvis Presley and as the location of the Trace State Park. Hikers start or end their long journey on the Natchez Trace Parkway, a 444-mile trail that was used by Native Americans and Explorers. The trail is a historic trek attracting nature enthusiasts.
In addition to tourism, Tupelo has attracted manufacturers such as Toyota, Cooper Tire & Rubber, and a large furniture manufacturing facility. Two large banking institutions make their headquarters in...Read more