Jackson's Internet Recognized as One of the Nation's Leading Examples
By: Tyler Whetstone, The Jackson Sun on Oct 27, 2014
Jackson was among 31 cities recognized Monday, October 20th by Next Century Cities for fast, affordable and reliable Internet service.
Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said he hopes the recognition will attract more businesses to the area as well as improve education and health care. He said the accolade came largely because of the speed and accessibility of the city of Jackson’s fiber optic Internet, which is part of the EPlus Broadband package.
Next Century Cities is a bipartisan, city-to-city initiative dedicated to ensuring the availability of next-generation broadband Internet for all communities.
“Gigabit broadband will have a significant economic impact in our community through the retention of existing businesses, attracting new industry and empowering our youth to have the best access to educational content from around the world, all right here in Jackson,” Gist said in a news release.
He told The Jackson Sun that people and businesses come to Jackson every day without realizing Jackson’s Internet capabilities. Gist hopes Monday’s announcement will encourage more industry to locate in Jackson.
“(We’re) letting the people who are going to help the city grow know that it’s available and will continue to help the city grow,” Gist said.
He said the city’s fiber optics effort is something Jackson Energy Authority and the city have been working on for at least five years.
“Jackson is years ahead of most communities in true broadband connectivity due to the investment we made in the fiber system, and the network will continue to be a keystone of Jackson’s success,” Ben Lovins, senior vice president of the Telecommunications Division at JEA, said in the news release.
Next Century Cities held a video conference Monday in Santa Monica, Calif., and had representatives from the 31 honored cities present when it made the announcement. Steve Bowers, TV and media manager at JEA, and Tammy Buchanan, Keep Jackson Beautiful chairwoman and representative of Gist’s office, attended the event.
For more information, visit nextcenturycities.org.