Rural Broadband Deployment Is Essential For Job Creation And Economic Development
Bruce Mottern, manager of state government affairs for TDS Telecom, was a recent guest on the podcast “Lead Tennessee Radio.” The show is produced by the Tennessee Broadband Association.
In the podcast interview with TNBA Executive Director Levoy Knowles, Mottern discussed the importance of broadband expansion for rural Tennessee.
“We understand the benefits to our communities in economic development, retaining jobs and attracting jobs, access to health care, education, and being able to work from home,” Mottern said.
TDS Telecom, based in Madison Wisc., recently received an $1.5 million Broadband Accessibility Grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to extend broadband into the Vonore area of Monroe County. With matching funds, TDS is investing more than $3 million into the project.
Mottern said the project is ahead of schedule.
“The community feedback has been great,” he said, noting that many in the community signed a petition seeking broadband expansion in their region. “They know there are thousands of locations that will actually benefit from this.”
Mottern also discussed the importance of public-private partnerships to making broadband accessible in low population density areas.
“Partnerships are critical to deploying broadband in critical areas,” he said. “Partnerships are beneficial because everyone involved is focused on a single goal of deploying broadband.”
The “Lead Tennessee Radio” podcast is an opportunity to discuss issues facing Tennessee with state leaders and lawmakers. Past episodes feature House Speaker Cameron Sexton, R-Crossville; Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge; House Majority Leader William Lamberth, R-Portland; Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin; and many more.
“The cooperative and independent telecommunications companies who comprise the TNBA are working hard to ensure that everyone in rural Tennessee has access to this life-changing technology,” said Levoy Knowles, TNBA executive director and host of the show. “This podcast is a great opportunity to have conversations with state and industry leaders who are on the front lines working for a connected Tennessee.”
“Lead Tennessee Radio” can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Play, as well as tennesseebroadband.com.