In June, Commissioner Randy Boyd, who leads the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, released a study about the broadband gap in Tennessee. Commissioner Boyd’s engagement on this issue is very encouraging. Here are some key findings from the report (full report):
- More than 800,000 Tennesseans do not have access to minimum broadband speeds.
- Rural Tennesseans are the most disadvantaged by the broadband gap.
- High-speed internet access remains a top deciding factor for businesses deciding where to create jobs.
- Fiber optic connectivity is the fastest, most reliable, and highest rated by households and businesses in Tennessee by a wide margin.
- An open regulatory environment that allows any entity to build telecommunications infrastructure and offer broadband services can spur investment, competition and expanded access.
The next session of the Tennessee Legislature starts in January of 2017. This session is our next opportunity for state lawmakers to remove restrictions that prevent community-owned networks from serving neighbors in surrounding areas.
Thank Commissioner Boyd for bringing attention to this issue: call (615) 741-1888, email or tweet.