Economic development sites AT&T fiber-ready

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LAUDERDALE COUNTY, Miss. (WTOK) - The East Mississippi Business Development Corporation announced Tuesday that three industrial sites in the county have been certified fiber-ready by AT&T. Officials say they hope that high-speed fiber will help attract new business.

"It's available and we all know that businesses look for places with it," said Mayo Flint, president of AT&T.

Flint met with area leaders to talk about a partnership between AT&T and Lauderdale County.

AT&T has designated three industrial parks in Lauderdale County as fiber-ready. Their stamp of approval will show business owners that Lauderdale County has the infrastructure to support them and they are ready to build.

"This designation will allow them to use our AT&T fiber name," Flint said. "The AT&T name says these three arks are AT&T fiber-ready."

The deal is all encompassing for the Kewanee megasite, G.V. Sonny Montgomery Industrial Park and I-20/59 Industrial Park.

"It's a way to announce to the world that there are fiber optic services available at these three parks for any prospects interested in coming to Meridian and Lauderdale County," said Mayo.

Flint and board of supervisors president, Joe Norwood, signed the agreement in front of area leaders Tuesday.

"This means a great deal for us as we recruit business and investors in the park and making sure we are fiber-ready," said Norwood.

The certification will offer a wide range of services including fiber optic communication. Businesses will have access to super fast Internet to communicate nationally on the same scale as a larger city

EMBDC board member Bob Luke says this deal puts the county in a position to up-sell its parks to future clients.

"There is not an economic prospect we deal with today that doesn't ask about technology communication, in particular, fiber," said Luke. "We could not even begin to compete without this."

AT&T has invested more than $875 million into its Mississippi Wireless Network since 2013. More than 10,000 businesses have been aided by it in the state. Mississippi is one of 21 states that use the program.