Fiber in North Mississippi

MEGAPOP was founded in 2002 to promote broadband services in rural North Mississippi. MEGAPOP's mission is to enhance economic development and improve the quality of life for the residents of North Mississippi through the delivery of enhanced broadband services.

In 2005, MEGAPOP in partnership with Telepak Networks, Inc. (now C-Spire Fiber) lit a fiber ring that currently serves two-thirds of the state of Mississippi.

Since the initial lighting, MEGAPOP and C-Spire have expanded the network, adding new rings with additional access throughout North Mississippi. Fiber to the Home is now available in Starkville and MEGAPOP is working with additional communities to promote the expansion of Fiber to the Home throughout the North Mississippi region.
Network cable with high tech technology color background—Internet Communication in Tupelo, MS
Optica Fiber—Internet Communication in Tupelo, MS
Since MEGAPOP and C Spire started…

North Mississippi has increased access to fiber infrastructure with better capacity. Over 8000 miles of fiber have been built since MEGAPOP and C-Spire lit the initial 800 mile ring in 2005. With the support of CREATE, ARC, TVA and many local governmental officials the initial ring had POPs located in Memphis, Holly Springs, Oxford, Tupelo, West Point, Columbus, Starkville, and Philadelphia. In 2009 additional POP’s were added in Booneville, Corinth, Ripley, New Albany, and Pontotoc. Additional POP’s will be lit in 2017.

North Mississippi now has access from nine (and growing) 10 Gigabit diverse internet connections from Atlanta, Dallas, and Chicago.

Increased competition has shown a significant reduction in wholesale costs allowing for reduced retail prices.

The addition of a second fiber company has helped spur economic development allowing for the creation of four 1000 acre Industrial Mega Sites approved by TVA which now house Toyota at Blue Springs, Steel Dynamics and Paccar at Columbus, and Yokohama at West Point. Many other Industrial Parks in North Mississippi now have a choice of fiber providers.

Through the MEGAPOP /C-Spire fiber ring C-Spire has been able to attach to and acquire existing fiber from Columbus and West Point to better provide competitive broadband service in those areas.

Cell coverage in North Mississippi has increased with much higher capacity and delivery speeds.

Starkville is the region’s first FTTH Gig City.

Policy makers are seeing broadband infrastructure as basic infrastructure.

Public awareness of the long term benefits have significantly grown. Broadband is enhancing education, healthcare, government and business interests.

And because of the great increase in usage and need for more bandwidth the FCC has recently increased their definition of high speed internet from 4 Mbps to 25 Mbps download speed.


Board Bios

  • Executive Director, Appalachian Regional Commission

  • Lee County Chancery Clerk
  • While serving as Chancery Clerk, we initiated the electronic storage of land and court records along with the Supervisors’ records and have provided the public with the ability to access these records online. We are in the process of allowing these records to be filed electronically. Working with the Three Rivers Planning and Development District, the financial records of Lee County are also available to the public online.

Dan Brook – Starkville, MS
  • Professor Emeritus (retired) Mississippi State University
  • Professional career has included teaching, research, service and consulting in the technology fields of electronics and computer technologies with the past twenty-six years specifically focused on designing and implementing multi-state and statewide video and data networks.

David Cole – Batesville, MS
  • President (Retired) Itawamba Community College

Bobby Martin – Ripley, MS
  • Chairman of the Board, People’s Bank of Ripley

Michele Dayton Patton – Oxford, MS
  • Director of Telecommunications, University of Mississippi
  • Duties include providing telephone, cable TV, copper and fiber optic infrastructure to the Oxford and regional UM campuses. In addition to serving on the MEGAPOP board, she has also served as President of the Mississippi Communications Technology Alliance.

Mabel Murphree - Tupelo, MS

  • District Director (retired) for Congressman Alan Nunnelee and Congressman Trent Kelly
  • Former Executive Director of the Appalachian Regional Commission Office for Mississippi
  • Dr. Murphree has been involved in a variety of educational, economic development, community development, and serves on the Board of Directors for the North Mississippi Health Services.

Larry Otis – Starkville, MS
Vice Chair-National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services
  • Promoting Rural Health through Broadband Expansion
  • Promoting Tele-Health through Broadband Expansion
  • Conducted Hearings Throughout Rural America
  • Appointed by Secretary Tommy Thompson and Mark White
  • Mayor (Retired)-City of Tupelo, Mississippi
  • Promotion of Broadband for City and Lower Cost to Citizens

Bill Renick – Ashland, MS
  • WIA Division Director, Three Rivers Planning and Development District

Ronny Rowland – Booneville, MS
  • General Manager, Prentiss County Electric Power Coop
  • Ronny serves as the MEGAPOP Chairman of the Board

David Rumbarger - Tupelo, MS
  • President/CEO, Community Development Foundation

Gerald Wages - Tupelo
  • Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer (retired) for North Mississippi Health Services.
  • Among my other duties, I had management responsibility for the Information Systems department, and I helped to direct the long range planning process that resulted in our computerized medical record system. That system now connects all of our hospitals with a common medical record, and has made it possible to quickly share clinical information on patients among all our facilities.

Mark Williams – Tupelo, MS
  • Chief Information Officer, Renesant Bank