Beau Pré may remain disconnected

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 16, 2008

NATCHEZ — For most, getting online or flipping on the television is done without a second thought.

But for some in one of Adams County’s nicest neighborhoods, the luxuries are simply not to be taken for granted.

Residents living in the Beau Pré subdivision don’t have the option to subscribe to either basic cable or DSL Internet service.

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And that lack of service has some residents confused and wanting answers.

“I just don’t understand why we can’t get service,” Elizabeth Gillon said of Internet service in her neighborhood.

Dr. Roderick Givens, President of the Beau Pré Homeowners Association, said the lack of service was also a topic of discussion at the group’s meeting.

“It’s a huge deal,” he said.

Givens said many of his neighbors have resorted to means other than cable for their television services and some use dial-up for their Internet service.

However Givens, and other residents, said dial-up is so slow it’s not a feasible option.

To compound their frustrations, residents said they can’t ever seem to find out exactly why they can’t get service in their neighborhood.

AT&T’s Mississippi spokesperson, Sue Sperry, said installation of infrastructure that would bring DSL to Beau Pré has been halted.

Sperry said she was investigating why the work had stopped and did not know when it would resume.

Sperry also said she did not know how complete the installation project was when it was stopped.

And while Beau Pré’s residents can’t get DSL, Gillon said neighboring subdivisions have DSL access.

“If one house can get it why can’t they all get it?” she asked.

Sperry said there’s no easy answer to that question.

“It could be several things,” she said. “It’s not like comparing apples to apples.”

Sperry said neighboring areas that have DSL could have been wired for the service closer to their construction time or could have just been easier to provide service for.

Sperry did say that AT&T is studying ways to provide the service to the area but has no timeline yet.

Cable One’s general manager, Bobby McCool, said the cable provider is waiting for more construction in the area before committing the necessary financing to bring cable to the area.

McCool said if the necessary lines were installed to bring cable to the area, with the current population, there’s no guarantee enough people would purchase cable to make the installation cost efficient.

McCool said the area would need approximately 10 to 15 more houses than it has now before the cable could be feasible.

The line Cable One would need to install costs $20,000 per mile and McCool estimates the area would need about 10 miles of line.