Governor Lee and Commissioner Rolfe recently announced nearly $15 million in broadband accessibility grants which will expand service to 17,800 Tennesseans in 15 rural counties. The announcement followed the Governor’s recent State of the State Address that proposed a goal for every Tennessean to have access to high-speed broadband and will support access to health care, an increase in e-commerce, and support small businesses in rural communities, a priority for the Governor and Tennessee Credit Unions.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) reports that one in six rural Tennesseans lack access to broadband. As much of the workforce transitioned to remote work over the duration of the pandemic, the lack of access has left many disadvantaged and exposed. Through public-private partnerships, the expansion of broadband has entered a fourth round of Tennessee’s Broad Accessibility Grant program, a competitive program designed to offset the capital expenses in the deployment of broadband in unserved areas. The goal of this program is to facilitate broadband access to all Tennesseans while promoting practices that increase deployment and encourage adoption.
As technology continues to advance, it is paramount that users remain self-sufficient in order to harness its potential. In addition to developing broadband infrastructure, the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act also includes a digital literacy component. This Digital Inclusion Toolkit provides many resources for individuals, businesses, and governments to educate and encourage self-sufficiency. The digital economy is already here and quickly advancing, to prevent any Tennesseans from being left behind, it will require commitment not only from the government, but from other public and private institutions. Credit unions are committed to ensuring their communities continue to Advance in the Volunteer Tradition.
The Tennessee Credit Union League was formed in 1934 as a 501 (c) (6) non-profit trade association for Tennessee credit unions. It is the mission of the League to promote and support the success and advancement of credit unions in meeting their service and structural goals.