As we shift into the second half of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the way we operate. We have proven once again how flexible we can be. We have shown we can meet any challenge.
We have changed how we interact with customers and members. We are wearing masks, we’re social distancing, and many of us have ceased all in-office transactions. Despite these challenges, we have never lost focus on our mission to ensure residents in rural Tennessee have access to reliable, high-speed internet.
This global pandemic has strengthened our resolve and shown that what we do is now more important than ever. It is a necessary part of life. It is how so many of us work remotely. It is how our children access educational opportunities. It is how we access health care from the comfort and safety of our homes. Now it is how we connect with the world.
As we wrestle with decisions such as how to educate our children in the upcoming school year, how to get Americans back to work, how to rescue the economy, and whether we will have football this fall, one thing is certain. Broadband will be a vital component in all these decisions.
Broadband lies at the heart of how we move forward addressing all these challenges. It is a vital component to education, health care, and economic development. It is how we help #TennesseeRebound.
It is unclear if life will ever be exactly as it once was, but we know one thing for certain: Communities without access to reliable, high-speed internet will fall hopelessly behind those with broadband access.
So far, Tennessee Broadband Association (TNBA) member companies have invested millions of dollars deploying almost 50,000 miles of fiber optic broadband cable across the state, and that figure continues to grow. By 2022, Tennessee’s cooperative and independent broadband providers are projected to have invested $400 million in the state’s broadband infrastructure.
Despite the continued health crisis, our dedication and determination will not falter. We will answer every challenge and continue bringing life-changing solutions to the people we serve.
Together, we will get to the other side of this.