Today the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Biden administration announced Tennessee will receive $813 million as part of the federal Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment (BEAD) program. This funding will strengthen Tennessee’s broadband infrastructure and address inadequate service that remains a challenge for many areas of the state.
Tennessee’s electric cooperatives fully support the state’s commitment to ensure that every resident has access to affordable and reliable broadband connectivity.
“Today’s announcement of BEAD resources is exciting for Tennessee,” said Mike Knotts, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “Electric cooperatives have established an excellent track record of rapidly deploying broadband networks to the most rural parts of our state. These funds will only accelerate the ability of electric cooperatives to provide that same service to even more unserved and underserved Tennesseans.”
Electric co-ops in Tennessee have taken swift action to tackle the challenges posed by a lack of reliable broadband service. Cooperatives have made remarkable progress in meeting the pressing demands for improved access. With the new opportunities presented by BEAD, electric cooperatives will continue to collaborate with partners at the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to ensure the allocated resources are utilized effectively to establish robust and dependable broadband networks that will meet to the needs of Tennesseans.
“ECD is a strong partner for broadband providers in Tennessee, including electric cooperatives, and Tennesseans can be proud of the state’s stewardship of broadband deployment resources,” said Ryan King, Vice President of Government Affairs for TECA. “We have full confidence their administration of the BEAD program will hit the mark to extend broadband service to as many Tennesseans as possible, as efficiently as possible.”