What is CoastConnect?
CoastConnect is a telecommunications subsidiary that offers fiber internet and telephone services to consumers in Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties.
We are building a fiber-to-the-home network – the gold standard of communications transmission – over Coast Electric’s existing electric distribution infrastructure that takes fiber directly into homes and businesses and delivers reliable, high-speed internet services.
The subsidiary is a separate company and is managed separately from the electric cooperative. Coast Electric will manage its electric grid to provide electricity across our service territory, and members will get their broadband services through CoastConnect. Consumers are billed separately for their electric service and their broadband service.
Why did Coast Electric form this subsidiary to offer internet service?
Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our members in the communities we serve. High-speed internet service is not readily available in many rural communities and many companies do not make the investment in areas with a small population density.
We want to help these residents and businesses cross the digital divide and receive the same opportunities as those who live in more populated areas. The endeavor is much like what occurred in the 1930s when electric power associations were formed and electrified rural areas, improving residents’ quality of life.
Why didn't Coast Electric build a system before now?
Until 2019, Mississippi state laws did not allow electric cooperatives to provide internet service. Seeing the need to bring internet service to rural areas of our state, the state legislature changed the law, allowing electric cooperatives to offer these services and bridge the digital divide.
What is the timeframe and scope of the buildout?
Members in phase one of the pilot project area in Pearl River County will receive service by the end of 2020. Construction will begin on phase two of the pilot project area in early 2021. We will announce plans for additional areas of service in the coming months.
Just as Coast Electric serves members in rural areas, CoastConnect's focus is bringing high-speed internet service to underserved rural areas first.
Will my electric rate go up?
No. Fiber deployment does not affect electric rates. Coast Electric and CoastConnect are separate organizations and all costs and revenues are separate. CoastConnect is a self-sufficient company.
What are the benefits of a fiber-to-the-home network?
Broadband high-speed internet provides multiple benefits, including improved opportunities for economic development, telemedicine and education in rural areas.
In addition, by creating a more robust fiber system, we are enhancing our smart grid with more automation capabilities to better serve electric members. A smarter grid allows Coast Electric’s devices to communicate with each other and delivers benefits such as improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and more.
What does the term "broadband" mean?
Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than any other type of internet service. Broadband fiber-optic networks can deliver voice, data, video and email services over the internet.
Don't most broadband systems use fiber?
Yes, but many use copper lines for the final connection, which results in slower speeds. Our network will use fiber all the way into your home or business, producing faster speeds.
What makes fiber optics better than other networks?
Fiber optics carry data using light waves, resulting in faster speeds than traditional copper lines. Our fiber-to-the-home network is more reliable than other types of networks and has fewer complications from lightning and other natural elements. Our network allows customers to use multiple devices at the same time to watch movies, game and stream as much as they want.
What internet packages are available for my home?
We will offer two internet packages for residential customers. Both packages include a GigaSpire router, managed WiFi, symmetrical upload and download speeds and no data cap. Customers can sign up here.
What internet packages are available for my business?
See our business packages here.
Are there data caps with this service?
There are no data caps or bandwidth throttling (intentional slowing or speeding of internet service) with our service.
What will I be able to do with high-speed internet service?
3 Mbps 25 Mbps 100 Mbps 1000 Mbps
Download 100 photos 14.7 minutes 1.8 minutes 26.4 seconds 2.6 seconds
Download HD movie 4.8 hours 34.4 minutes 8.6 minutes 51.5 seconds
Download 50 Songs 8.2 minutes 1 minute 14.7 seconds 1.5 seconds
Download 50GB Game 39.8 hours 4.8 hours 1.2 hours 7.2 minutes
Will a contract be required?
Customers may terminate service upon completion of a minimum 12 months of service. An early termination fee may apply. No contract is required after one year.
How can I sign up for service?
Select your package and sign up here.
What is the installation process?
Once you sign up for service, fiber installation is simple and non-invasive. We pull fiber from our main lines and follow power lines to attach the fiber to your home or business. The fiber will run to your home or business in the same manner power lines run to your home or business. If your electric service comes from overhead lines, so will your broadband service. If your electric service comes from underground lines, so will your broadband service. Next, we attach the fiber line to a box near your electric meter where the inside wiring connects with the outside wiring. Finally, the fiber is connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it’s plugged into the modem we provide.
Construction crews pulling and hanging the fiber and taking it to your home’s outside wiring are preparing the network to go live once construction in the area is complete. A CoastConnect employee will contact you to schedule an appointment for an in-home installer to finalize your connection and test the services from your equipment. Once that install is complete and tested, your service should be ready to go.
Will construction crews make a mess in my yard?
Fiber construction often involves digging or trenching and our trucks on your property or in neighborhoods. Our contractors are trained to minimize or repair damage before leaving the job. Please contact us at 877.969.3884 to share any concerns about the construction process.
Do I have to sign up for phone service to get high-speed internet service?
You can sign up for the services individually.
How does the phone service work?
CoastConnect’s phone service uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Calls you make are processed over the public telephone switched network, which results in a higher quality call than traditional VoIP calls.
What phone packages are available for my home?
A crystal-clear reception digital voice line with unlimited local and long-distance calling for $29.95 a month plus tax when bundled with internet service. Additional lines are available for $20.95 a month per line plus tax. Voice only service is available for $49.95 a month plus tax.
What phone packages are available for my business?
A crystal-clear reception digital voice line with unlimited local and long-distance calling for $39.95 a month plus tax when bundled with internet service. Additional lines are available for only $20.95 a month per line plus tax. Voice only service is available for $54.75 a month plus tax.
Billing and Payment Assistance
Why is my first bill so high?
Your first CoastConnect bill will be higher than your following bills for a couple of reasons:
- If you were connected in the middle of the month, you are paying a pro-rated cost for your service on those days. Since we bill on the 12th of each month, you won’t be charged for that service until you receive your first bill the following month.
- For example, if you were connected on May 20, the bill you receive on June 12 will include a pro-rated charge for the 12 days of service you had in May, charges for the month of June and charges for the upcoming month of July. When you receive your next bill in mid-July, it will be for service in August.
When is my bill due?
We bill on the 12th of each month for the month ahead and payment is due on the 28th. If payments are not received by the 5th of the following month, subscribers will be disconnected and will be responsible for a reconnection fee. This means that if you receive a bill on Feb. 12, payment is due by Feb. 28. If payment is not received by March 5, service will be disconnected. If you need bill assistance, you can learn more about two programs that might be available to you here.
CoastConnect subscribers could be eligible for payment assistance through two federal programs, the Affordable Connectivity Program and Lifeline. To learn more about these programs, visit www.coastconnect.com/assistance/.