Thursday, August 9, 2018

$425 million for rural broadband gets Senate approval, Sen. Alexander announces

Loretto Telecom already brings fiber, but support for expansion is welcome

As rural telecommunication coops and companies, like Loretto Telecom, expand critical high-speed broadband service, the U.S Senate is poised to help. 

Senator Lamar Alexander announced Wednesday August 1 that the Senate has passed legislation providing $425 million in support for broadband in rural areas.

Loretto Telecom, which serves Lawrence County, is already making high-speed broadband available. But more is needed for these rural counties. It is vital to local businesses, students, health care providers, and first responders. 

“We applaud the action of the Senate,” said Levoy Knowles, executive director of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association, which includes Loretto Telecom. “TTA members in rural Tennessee have installed more than 21,000 miles of fiber, the fastest Internet service available. But there are more areas that need high-speed broadband, and support from Washington and Nashville is always welcome. 

“For rural communities to thrive in the 21st century, high-speed broadband is as essential as the telephone was when TTA members made it available nearly 100 years ago. When an employer is looking for a place to locate, it is one of the first things they’ll tell you that they must have. Our members are making it happen.” 

TTA members, including Loretto Telecom, are independent and cooperatively owned telecom companies that provide high-speed broadband or fiber service to customers in rural Tennessee. By 2019, they will have spent more than $243 million to connect rural Tennesseans with gig-speed fiber. 

TTA has been connecting rural Tennesseans for 70 years. Today, the 21 members of TTA are THE experts in Tennessee rural broadband.




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