Commissioner Discusses Preliminary Broadband Assessment Results

Tennesseans are making more money than ever before — and part of that is due to broadband, according to Tennessee Commissioner of Economic Development Randy Boyd.

While most of the results from the state’s recent Broadband Assessment are still being tabulated, Boyd shared a few encouraging numbers from the early results during his session at the TTA Annual Meeting in Franklin.

In the early results of the assessment, 66 percent of business respondents say their increasing revenue was due to broadband, and 36 percent of households say they made extra money due to high-speed internet access.

The biggest surprise so far, Boyd said, has been the number of surveys completed. Boyd’s office received more than 23,000 returned forms, which is four times more than he expected. Boyd said surveys were submitted from every single county in the state.

Boyd said internet speeds continue to be something that new and potential companies ask about when they look at building in the Volunteer State.

“Having broadband is essential,” Boyd told the attendees. “It’s one of those things that has to be there for us to be successful.”

According to Boyd’s figures from the assessment, 43 percent of jobs brought into Tennessee last year required broadband.

Boyd also said Tennessee had the “best balance sheet in the country,” adding that despite what some politicians state to the contrary, this is the most prosperous time in Tennessee’s history. He highlighted record-setting household income figures and a shrinking unemployment rate.

At the conference, Boyd said it would likely be six weeks before the full Broadband Assessment results were ready to be released.