Six years after initial work began in 2007 on the statewide (emergency radio) system, the more than $221 million Mississippi Wireless Integrated Network is basically completed.
Officials said last week that an official in DeSoto County in extreme north Mississippi can now communicate on the wireless radio network with someone in the Mississippi Sound on the Gulf Coast.
“I was in Senatobia recently and talked to someone in Pearl and the quality of the sound was fine,” (MEMA Director Robert) Latham said. “Many states would die for what we have now. It’s the most up-to-date system available.”
There was some discussion in the Legislature this session, mostly on the Senate side, about the cost the Wireless Communication Commission is incurring to operate and maintain the system. The cost is reportedly $11 million a year.
The Legislature approved a deficit appropriation of $2.5 million for the commission for this fiscal year.
Some lawmakers suggested the commission may have to consider charging fees to those on the system.