Tennessee announces nearly $15M in broadband grants

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Lee has announced that nearly $15 million in broadband accessibility grants will soon be used to support 17,800 unserved Tennesseans in more than 7,100 homes and businesses.

According to a Friday news release, Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe said the state is partnering with 13 providers to boost high-speed broadband throughout rural areas in the state.

Lee recently proposed investing $200 million also to increase internet connectivity at his State of the State address to lawmakers.

A Tennessee group recently said in a report that the state should map out just where hundreds of thousands of Tennesseans without access to Internet live, so officials don’t have to rely on federal maps that overstate coverage in some communities.

Since 2018, the Department of Economic and Community Development has awarded nearly $60 million in grants to serve more than 33,000 homes and businesses, which includes 83,000 Tennesseans.

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