Haslam Administartion to Study Broadband Expansion

Gov. Bill Haslam says his administration will study ways to expand so—called broadband internet service to rural parts of the state now undeserved by commercial providers. The republican chief executive told Tennessee farm bureau members last week the “world is changing” and rural counties need access to broadband and the resulting educational opportunities it offers. The state has contracted with 2 companies to define the problem with expanding internet coverage to under-served rural areas. Tullahoma Republican State Senator Janice Bowling is sponsoring legislation that would allow municipal internet systems to extend coverage outside their current footprint. State law now denies the expansion. Bowling’s legislation is strongly opposed by ATT and other commercial providers. They say taxpayer-subsidized internet systems put them at a competitive disadvantage.

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