NASHVILLE, TN (STL.News) Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced today $14.9 million in broadband accessibility grants that will expand service to support 17,800 unserved Tennesseans in 7,120 homes and businesses.
“Every Tennessean should have access to the same high-speed broadband, no matter what zip code they live in,” said Gov. Lee. “Our continued investment in internet connectivity will help level the playing field for rural communities across our state, and I thank these 13 providers for partnering with us to help nearly 18,000 more Tennesseans get connected.”
In his recent State of the State address, Gov. Lee proposed a record investment of $200 million to achieve a goal of every Tennessean having access to high-speed broadband. This proposal, combined with significant private sector investment, will help improve educational outcomes, expand access to health care, increase e-commerce and support small businesses in rural communities across the state.
According to the FCC’s 2020 Broadband Deployment Report, one in six rural Tennesseans lack access to broadband. Since 2018, TNECD has awarded nearly $60 million in grants through the Broadband Accessibility Grant Program to serve more than 33,000 homes and businesses, and over 83,000 Tennesseans.