80 million dollars in grants presented to southwest Tennessee to expand internet access
Today Governor Bill Lee stopped in Jackson to present 80 million dollars of grant checks to expand internet access across the state.
According to the 2020 broadband deployment report published by the Federal Communications Commission (fcc), one in six rural Tennesseans lacks access to broadband.
To solve this digital divide, in September 2022, governor Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) commissioner Stuart McWhorter announced that the state will award $446,770,282 in grants for the expansion of internet access across the state of tennessee.
80 million of those dollars were awarded to companies to expand their broadband reach in southwest Tennessee.
Governor Lee said, “West. Tennessee is one of the most unique spots in the country right now. The economy here is growing in every small town in blue oval city and right around that region, but also in the counties far reaching beyond it. Very exciting what's happening here. We have to be prepared for the growth that's coming and the opportunity. We had to be really smart.”
These grants funded by the American Rescue Plan do not make internet free for those in rural communities they simply allow companies in those areas to expand and make internet available to more west Tennesseans.