NASHVILLE – Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that five electric co-ops in Tennessee will receive more than $6.2 million in broadband accessibility grants. Electric co-ops received nearly half of $14.8 million in state grants awarded by the state.
“Rural and suburban Tennessee cannot grow and prosper without access to reliable, high-speed connectivity,” says David Callis, executive vice president and general manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Tennessee’s electric co-ops are responding to this need and making significant investments to bring this service to the homes and businesses they serve. The state’s broadband accessibility grant program speeds the process of expanding high-speed internet to communities that have no other options.”
“I am pleased to announce that we are getting our rural areas up to speed and expanding broadband in the areas that need it most,” said Lee. “I am committed to ensuring connectivity in every corner of our state as broadband impacts our goals for health care, education, economic development and beyond.”
According to the FCC’s 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, nearly one in four rural Tennesseans lack access to broadband. In addition to the $20 million included in Gov. Lee’s recommended budget for fiscal year 2020, these grants will continue to close the access gap ensuring rural Tennesseans have the tools needed for growth and prosperity.
The six Tennessee co-ops receiving a total of $6,296,177.61 in this round of state grants include:
- Appalachian Electric Cooperative: $1,739,581 serving parts of Jefferson and Grainger Counties
- Gibson Electric Membership Corporation: $588,974 serving the Gadsden Community in Crockett County and part of Gibson County
- Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative: $1,832,728.16 serving part of Humphreys County
- Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative: $817,406 serving the Griffith Creek community in Marion County
- Volunteer Energy Cooperative: $1,317,488.45 serving the Spring Creek community in McMinn County
Learn more about electric co-op broadband in Tennessee on our Co-op Broadband page.