TNBA associate member Aeneas Internet and Telephone forms partnership to bring broadband to unserved areas

Posted: February 4, 2020

Aeneas Internet and Telephone has partnered with Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation to build a gigabit fiber network that will serve all of Southwest Tennessee Electric’s 11-county service region.

Levoy Knowles, executive director of the Tennessee Broadband Association, praised the partnership as a way utilities are working together to spread fiber optic broadband throughout the Volunteer State.

“By combining resources and working together, our members can more efficiently serve the needs of those in rural Tennessee that until now have not had the advantages of broadband internet,” he says.

“When our members work together with other broadband providers, they can accomplish great things.”

Construction of Phase 1 of the project will begin in the spring and will focus on Tipton and Chester counties. Grant applications have been submitted to serve Hardeman and Haywood counties. Construction will continue based on participation and interest. Phase 1 consists of nearly 1,000 miles of fiber optic cable and should take about a year to complete. The entire multimillion-dollar investment is expected to be finished in about 5 years.

Kevin Murphy, president of Southwest Tennessee Electric, says the partnership formed after receiving calls from their members requesting reliable high-speed internet.

“Aeneas and Southwest Tennessee Electric have a common mission to serve our neighbors, he says. “That, coupled with their expansive knowledge of the technology required to operate a gigabit fiber network, makes this a perfect fit.”

Stephen Thorpe, CEO of Aeneas Internet and Telephone, calls this an exciting time for Southwest Tennessee.

“The need for broadband is growing rapidly, and in today’s world, we rely on it being available to all of us

— not just those who live in or around the metro areas,” Thorpe says. “All of us here at Aeneas are excited to partner with Southwest Tennessee Electric to continue bringing this much-needed service to the communities we serve.”