State announces plans to assess broadband usage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – After hearing from business executives and economic development professionals, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd decided to assess broadband access and usage in Tennessee.

The survey of businesses and households started Tuesday and continues through March 15. Businesses and residents may take the online assessment at Boyd said the department determined the need for the assessment of broadband access and usage after elected leaders, business executives and economic development professionals told Boyd that a lack of access could hurt future economic development efforts in rural Tennessee.

Tennessee s economic future is directly tied to our broadband access, Boyd said. Broadband access impacts our quality of life, educational opportunities, healthcare and our businesses ability to compete. We must measure who has broadband Internet access and how they are using it.

Help us make sure every Tennessee community has access to broadband by taking this assessment. Boyd said the department s assessment will help offer strategies to increase broadband use in Tennessee. TNECD will also work with the telecommunications industry to pinpoint access gaps and create ways to get service to underserved areas.

A full report with recommendations is expected in June.