BROADBAND INTERNET COVERAGE
Tennessee is starting a project to find out where those who do not currently have access to high speed internet live in the state. Estimates are that there are hundreds of thousands of residents in the state who do not have availability to broadband internet. The plan calls for the next year or so to collect and validate service data from broadband internet providers throughout the state….they are hopeful to have this done by the summer of 2022. Tennessee is joining many other states who no longer rely on federal broadband internet maps. Those seem to overstate access that communities have. The state doing its own map is more reliable.
Gov. Bill Lee had proposed $200 million for rural broadband expansion in Tennessee, but lawmakers amended that to $100 million in the upcoming budget that passed last week. Lawmakers want to see how much federal broadband money will come into the state before they allot more than the $100 million. Tennessee currently ranks 34th among states in broadband internet coverage.