Broadband Expansion Act

Below is information for co-ops regarding the Broadband Expansion Act.


Talking Points

Tennessee’s electric cooperatives support The Broadband Expansion Act (SB 2512/HB 2408).

Almost one in three rural Tennesseans served by an electric cooperative does not have access to wired broadband that meets modern standards. This places a burden on rural communities to remain competitive and seriously impacts commerce, healthcare and education.

The Broadband Expansion Act removes legal barriers that currently prevent electric cooperatives from providing broadband access. Electric cooperatives in Tennessee serve 71 percent of the state’s landmass, including a majority of areas that lack access to high-speed Internet.

Electric cooperatives are private, not-for-profit, member-owned businesses that exist to serve rural and suburban Tennessee. Tennessee’s cooperatives were created to bring electricity to rural and suburban Tennessee, an act that created opportunity for generations of Tennesseans and changed the landscape of our state. Co-ops are uniquely positioned to provide real solutions to Tennessee’s need for broadband access.

The Broadband Expansion Act was introduced on Monday, Feb. 22, by Rep. Art Swann.

It will be considered by the House Business and Utilities Subcommittee at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

 


Co-op Statement

[Co-op name] today announces its support of The Broadband Expansion Act (SB 2512/HB 2408).

“We are well aware of the need for broadband in our service area,” says [name, title] with [co-op]. “We have been prevented by Tennessee state law from providing broadband access to our members, but the Broadband Expansion Act opens the door for new solutions. We are excited about the opportunities this presents to our members and the communities we serve.”

Access to wired broadband that meets modern standards is unavailable to almost one in three Tennesseans served by an electric cooperative. The Broadband Expansion Act removes legal barriers that currently prevent the state’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives from providing broadband access.

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TECA Statement

NASHVILLE, Feb. 23, 2016 – Tennessee’s electric cooperatives today announce their support of The Broadband Expansion Act (SB 2512/HB 2408).

“Limited access to high-speed Internet has had a profound impact on rural and suburban Tennessee. New solutions are needed to provide these communities with the opportunities that lie just around the corner or right down the street,” says David Callis, executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Co-ops have a legacy of expanding services beyond the city limits. A generation ago, the issue was power; today it is broadband.”

Access to wired broadband that meets modern standards is unavailable to almost one in three Tennesseans served by an electric cooperative. The Broadband Expansion Act removes legal barriers that currently prevent the state’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives from providing broadband access.

The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides legislative and communication support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit tnelectric.org or tnmagazine.org to learn more.

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Contact:
Trent Scott | Director of Corporate Strategy | tscott@tnelectric.org | 731.608.1519

 

 

FPU-sponsored coat drive nets community generosity

“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of this community,” says Fayetteville Public Utilities CEO and General Manager Britt Dye referring to the results of the FPU-sponsored coat drive.

FPU’s Coat Drive netted 462 coats and jackets of all sizes being donated to two local charity organizations who will assist with distribution to those in need: Hands of Mercy Outreach Center and Clothe Our Kids.

“At FPU we have interaction with many people on a daily basis,” says FPU CEO and General Manager Britt Dye. “On occasion, we learn about their financial hardships and how it hinders them from paying their bills and providing for their families’ basic needs. With this in mind, we felt led to organize the coat donation drive this year.”

“These two charity organizations operate on the generosity of those who give,” says Dye, “and we appreciate everyone for what they were able to donate.”

FPU and David West Partner to Benefit Good Sam

For many years, Fayetteville Public Utilities has sponsored a community-wide food drive, Harvest of Hope, which benefits the Good Samaritan Association of Lincoln County by helping stock their shelves for the following year. This year’s donations have exceeded those of years past, and one reason for the increase in donations is due to an FPU employee’s idea to bring hope to other families in the local community. The employee just wanted to bless others, because there is no greater feeling in the world than to bless someone else.

The FPU employee wanted had a goal of donating 1,000 cans of food to the Good Samaritan Association of Lincoln County. When he mentioned the idea about donating 1,000 cans to fellow employees, the idea took flight. FPU employees rallied and enlisted additional help from David West, manager of Gerald’s Foodland in Fayetteville, TN, and he was more than happy to assist. West was able to secure a lower purchase price for the canned food items for the employees and was generous enough to donate close to a third of those canned items. Between the employees of FPU and West’s donations, the overwhelming total donation of cans resulting from the partnership came to 2,280.

At the end of FPU’s 2015 food drive, 3,834 items have been donated to the local food bank.

Co-ops Vote

(NEW ORLEANS) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today launched a major initiative to enhance voter engagement. The goal of the “Co-ops Vote” campaign is to boost voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives by encouraging electric co-op employees and their consumer members to exercise one of their most basic rights—the right to vote.

“America’s electric cooperatives are leaders in the communities they serve throughout the country with a powerful sense of their civic duty,” said NRECA Interim CEO Jeffrey Connor. “Co-ops Vote focuses elected leaders on the people who are most invested in the success of their own communities.  With 42 million members across the nation, electric co-ops are a powerful voice on national issues that have a local impact.  We want to be sure that voice is always heard, especially on Election Day.”

Working in collaboration with states and local co-ops, this non-partisan campaign will educate and engage all voters on important issues, such as ensuring continued access to reliable electricity, promoting co-ops’ development of innovative renewable energy solutions, and expanding broadband coverage throughout rural America.

Co-ops Vote will provide a wide variety of tools to its more than 900, not-for-profit members to help educate and engage employees and communities, including voter registration information, candidate information and a campaign video. Co-ops are urged to take simple steps, such as encouraging employees to register to vote, hosting voter registration drives at co-op offices, and partnering with local civic groups to plan voter registration efforts.

For more information, visit www.vote.coop and follow #CoopsVote.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.