Progress being made to bring high-speed internet to rural parts of Tenn.


It’s no secret rural areas across the country lack broadband internet, but in Tennessee, real progress is being made providing rural areas with the fastest internet available.  

 Many small businesses rely on broadband service just to stay in business.  

His voice has been heard by millions, now, former American Idol contestant, Bucky Covington is not only running his way up the music charts.  

“New song called, ‘I Probably Won’t,’ it’s in the Top 30, number 30 in the Music Row Charts,” Covington said.   

He and his twin brother Rocky are running a successful business in Westmoreland, Tennessee, thanks to access to Fiber Optic Broadband.  

“We like the privacy and all of that,” Bucky said.  “Downside of that is a lot of time you do lose a lot of city life services like WiFi.  In today’s world not only could we not run a business without good WiFi, it would be hard to stay at home without good WiFi even in the country.”  

Without high-speed broadband service in this rural area, they said Covington’s Collision Center would be a wreck.  

“I reckon it all comes down to competition,” Rocky Covington said.  “Quite frankly, nowadays without broadband or some type of WiFi service, the competition is just going to kill you.  You can’t keep up, you can’t send an email, you’re doing things ole school, you’re probably going to shut your doors down.”  

North Central Telephone Cooperative, or NCTC, has invested millions of dollars in smaller cities and towns in Tennessee expanding its fiber-optic broadband.  

Covington’s Collision Center is just one of many businesses throughout rural Tennessee that rely on broadband service in order to stay in business. 

Kim Robinson runs two successful businesses, including Winky Sugar Etsy company in rural Defeated Creek.  

Both businesses ship to places as far away as Switzerland, Singapore and France.  

Broadband is something the Tennessee Telecommunications Association said is needed all over the state.  

“High-speed broadband internet service is very important for many reasons, one of which transfers large data files from businesses from one location to the next,” said Levoy Knowles, Executive Director of Tennessee Telecommunications Association.  “It’s also very important to work from home for the consumers to be able to get broadband.  For students to be able to do their homework from home.  So many schools have gone to bookless classrooms so it’s very important to connect to the internet after school hours.”  

NCTC is now serving rural areas in Sumner, Macon, Trousdale and Smith counties.  

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