AT&T says it will expand broadband Internet connection to more than 81,000 homes and businesses in rural Tennessee within six years.
Multiple media outlets report that the telecommunications giant announced Wednesday that it will use $26 million from telephone universal access fees to extend its broadband service.
The funding comes from the federal Connect America Fund, which will allow AT&T to deploy broadband connections where market forces and economics do not support such expansion.
As part of the deployment, AT&T says it will deliver broadband at speeds of at least 10 megabits per second for downloads and 1 megabit per second for uploads.
Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development official Amy New says the increased connectivity is vital for residents and should lead to an increase in investment in their communities.