Tennessee OKs Bill to Let Nonprofit Electric Co-Ops Offer Broadband

Published: April 11, 2017

Community DevelopmentEconomic Development/RegulationGeneral Government ServicesInformation TechnologyProfessional ServicesPublic UtilitiesSTATE

Tennessee senators voted this month to allow nonprofit electric cooperatives to offer broadband, including video entertainment, to consumers living in their existing service areas.

While the bill only requires a download speed of at least 10 Mbps with uploads of 1 Mbps, priority tax breaks will be given to investor-owned companies offering higher speeds. Though 34 percent of rural Tennesseans have no access to broadband, as defined by the 25/3 Mbps FCC standard, and have been calling for the municipal utilities expansion, it remains to be seen how this expansion will meet the needs of the population.

Source: GovTech