Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tenn. governor signing broadband expansion bill to boost service in underserved areas

Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is scheduled to sign today an amended version of his broadband-expansion bill to connect under-served areas in Tennessee, reports WBIR-TV in Knoxville. Tennessee ranks 29th in broadband access and 34 percent of residents in rural areas "lack access to recognized minimum standards of connection."

The bill can increase broadband service to "the state's unserved citizens by providing $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for providers who help make broadband more readily available," reports WBIR. "It will also permit Tennessee's private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service and grant funding." Haslam is expected to sign the bill at 1:30 p.m. in Brownsville in West Tennessee.

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