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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Broadband grants are available
The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has announced that it is now accepting Broadband Accessibility Grant applications until November 17, 2017. Established by the recently enacted Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act , the program aims to spread broadband access to more Tennesseans while promoting practices that increase deployment and encourage adoption. In total, $10 million is available in the first round of grants. “Rural economic development is a top priority for TNECD and reliable broadband is a lynchpin of our efforts to encourage job growth in Tennessee’s rural communities,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “About one-in-three residents in rural Tennessee do not have broadband access at recognized minimum standards. It is critical that we address this gap and ensure all Tennesseans have reliable internet access. Thanks to Governor Haslam’s leadership and the overwhelming support of the Tennessee General Assembly, TNECD will now be able to provide grants to help make broadband available to residents and businesses that currently go without it.” The Broadband Accessibility Grants are meant to help offset the capital expenses of deploying broadband in currently unserved areas. Projects must serve locations without access to download speeds of at least ten megabits per second (10 Mbps) and upload speeds of at least one megabit per second (1 Mbps). Preference will be given to areas that are unlikely to receive broadband service without grant funding. Applicants must be authorized to provide retail broadband in the proposed service area. TNECD anticipates announcing grantees in January, 2018. Sharon Kyser of Newport Utilities says she expects NU will apply for a grant for it's fiber network, "to help us to expand to areas more quickly than we had originally planned."


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

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