Efforts to provide internet where residents need it most

Efforts to provide internet where residents need it most

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Several areas in Arkansas are rural and are not capable of receiving high-speed internet.

Craighead Electric and Empower in Jonesboro are working together to bridge the digital divide in Arkansas.

In Wednesday’s meeting to discuss the internet shortage, members talked about the need of high-speed internet throughout the eight counties Craighead Electric serves.

The meeting discussed the five-year project to lay fiber optic cables to the areas in need.

Manager of Fiber Assets and Empower Jeremiah Sloan said they are working toward a common goal.

“The goal is to provide reliable, high speed internet to our members and to enable opportunity for wanting to bring economic benefit to these communities and enhance access to education, to medicine, entertainment,” Sloan said.

For homes that receive the fiber optic cables, their home value may increase as much as $5,000, officials say.

“We’ve heard several stories from our members about children not being able to do online homework, not being able to work from home or to support small businesses,” Sloan said. “We want to be able to serve our members and enjoy a high quality of life, we serve them electrically and we can also serve them with internet.”

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