JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – On Wednesday, April 13, Governor Tate Reeves (R-Miss.) signed House Bill 1029, the Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi Act.
The legislation creates a new central office – the Office of Broadband Expansion and Accessibility of Mississippi (BEAM). The office will be committed to coordinating and streamlining broadband policy in the state.
According to the officials, the office will exist within the Department of Finance and Administration. The office will administer federal grant programs to provide broadband service in unserved and underserved areas.
“We recognize that to best prepare our residents for the jobs of the next 50 years, we need to ensure that every Mississippian has access to the full breadth of benefits technology has to offer,” said Reeves. “This new office is a strategic move that will give us a centralized, coordinated, and streamlined approach to bring a variety of programs and efforts together under one roof. It will help to ensure accountability and transparency over the range of efforts and money that is being invested into Mississippi’s broadband infrastructure.”
Governor Reeves also announced that Sally Doty would be the first Director of the office. Doty is the current Executive Director of the Mississippi Public Utilities Staff. She is a former State Senator from Brookhaven.