Improving Rural Broadband Deployment Remains Top Priority

Posted: November 19, 2020

The Tennessee General Assembly will welcome 12 new faces when it begins the 2021 legislative session, but Tennessee Broadband Association members should feel confident in the state’s continued support of rural broadband investment and the association being seen as a trusted source of information on this critical issue.

Kim Adkins of The Capitol Strategy Group, who is a member of the TNBA’s government affairs team along with Steve Buttry, says lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand that members of the TNBA are leading the way in rural broadband deployment.

“Rural broadband continues to be a priority of the legislature and this administration,” she says. “Even many of the new members have mentioned this as an important issue for Tennesseans. Executive Director Levoy Knowles and our lobby team has had tremendous success sharing the TNBA story of successful implementation in some of the most remote areas of Tennessee. With the state budget tightening in 2021 and with the challenges of the pandemic, we must double down our efforts to make sure our leaders continue to hear us. TNBA is leading the way in rural broadband advancement and we can do more.”

Since 2018, Tennessee lawmakers have appropriated $45 million through the Broadband Accessibility Act. Funding for additional rural broadband grant dollars needs to continue to be a priority for the General Assembly.

New state lawmakers include:

  • Sen. Heidi Campbell, D-Oak Hill
  • Sen. Page Walley, R-Bolivar
  • Rep. Scotty Campbell, R-Mountain City
  • Rep. Tim Hicks, R-Gray
  • Rep. Rebecca Keefauver Alexander, R-Jonesborough
  • Rep. Sam McKenzie, D-Knoxville
  • Rep. Michele Carringer, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Eddie Mannis, R-Knoxville
  • Rep. Tandy Darby, R-Greenfield
  • Rep. Torrey Harris, D-Memphis
  • Rep. Todd Warner, R-Chapel Hill
  • Rep. John Gillespie, R-Memphis

Visit the Tennessee General Assembly site for more information.