The Tennessee Telecommunications Association said Monday that passage of
the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act is a good first step toward
making broadband available to more rural Tennesseans.
"This is a major step in the right direction," said Levoy Knowles,
executive director of TTA.
"As providers of high-speed broadband and fiber to a large portion of
rural Tennessee, we know there are still places that need to get
connected. This is an issue that won't be fixed overnight.
"But our members, both the independent companies and the cooperatives,
are optimistic about working with the electric co-ops to make broadband
available to many more rural Tennesseans."
David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of TECA, said:
"The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association supports the Governor's
Broadband Accessibility Act. Expanded access to igh-speed Internet in
rural areas can have a profound impact on job creation, economic
investment, education, and health care.
"Electric and telephone co-ops serve the state's most rural and
economically disadvantaged regions. The Governor's legislation will now
allow electric cooperatives to play a vital role in bringing broadband
to these underserved areas.
"With our joint dedication and presence in these rural areas, electric
and telephone cooperatives have a great opportunity to work together to
meet this challenge."
The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act is a signature piece of
Governor Haslam's 2017 legislative initiatives. It is aimed at promoting
expansion of broadband into unserved rural areas. Some of the provisions:
TTA represents 21 independent and cooperatively owned telecom
cooperatives and independent companies that make high-speed broadband or
fiber available to more than 136,000 rural Tennesseans. They have
installed more than 12,000 miles of fiber in rural areas across the
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