Tennessee Broadband Association (TNBA) member continues fiber investment to underserved areas
More homes and businesses across rural Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi will soon have access to lightning-fast fiber broadband services from TEC.
TEC, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, and Tennessee Broadband Association member, is an established communications provider for nearly a century.
“Access to reliable internet is now more important than ever,” TEC Executive Vice President Joey Garner says. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to expand reliable, affordable internet options to rural communities.”
TEC’s most recent $1.8 million investment in Tennessee provides the McLemoresville and Buena Vista communities in Carroll County with the benefits of fiber. This project includes a grant of more than $800,000 from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.
The project consists of 40 miles of fiber optic cable in total and connects over 281 residential and business customers to fast fiber internet. The project enables symmetrical gigabit speeds, which provides the best online experience for streamers, gamers, social media users, and families with multiple users at home. As part of the project, home phone services are also available.
Additionally, TEC has committed more than $15 million in grant and matching funds to bring fiber broadband access to underserved and unserved communities in Tennessee, including parts of Benton, Henry, Stewart, Houston, Montgomery, and Carroll Counties.
In Alabama, more than 150 homes and businesses in Chambers County will have access to fiber, thanks to a total project investment of nearly $570,000. The project includes a grant of more than $193,000 from the Alabama Broadband Accessibility Fund. Construction is planned to begin in late 2021.
In Colbert County, TEC received a matching grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Colbert County Community Broadband Project for $1,336,445. With TEC’s additional investment, the total investment will be over $2.6 million, adding fiber internet connectivity to the Allsboro, Mynot, Maud, Mhoontown, and Eagle Point communities. For this project, TEC will construct 173 square miles of fiber over three phases and connect over 400 businesses and residences.
The Red Rock community of Barton County will soon have access to fiber connectivity. Crews have begun installing fiber optic cable with plans to complete the construction by fall of this year, connecting over 100 residences and businesses.
In Mississippi, TEC recently announced its Central Mississippi Rural Community Fiber Project. This endeavor will provide gigabit and higher broadband internet speeds to Bay Springs, Polkville, White Oak, Walters, Homewood, Big Creek, and Soso. Construction for the project is underway and will continue throughout 2021.
This project will increase internet access to over 2,500 locations. TEC’s personal investment of $9,996,000 promises considerable strides in narrowing the digital divide in rural Mississippi. The project spans over 106 square miles of Jasper, Smith, Scott, Rankin, and Jones Counties.
During 2020, TEC was awarded $4.6 million in RUS grants and matched $2.6 million for a total of $7.2 million that will greatly impact the state. In addition, TEC won $41.2 million in FCC RDOF auction funding where they will match with $54.6 million, making the total investment over $95 million. This project will pass over 22,000 potential new customers in rural Mississippi. TEC plans to complete the 2,100-mile build-out in six years.
With the goal of minimizing the broadband access gaps, TEC is providing reliable, affordable internet options and positively impacting the communities in which it serves. These fiber services provide greater access for telemedicine, distance education, telecommuting, and improving the overall quality of life for these communities.
After project completion, symmetrical speeds of up to 1 gigabit will provide the best possible online experience for business users and support for multiple devices in homes for video streaming, online gaming, web surfing, and more.
TEC employs more than 200 people across Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Louisiana. A tier-one Tennessee Broadband Association member, TEC has invested in and maintains approximately 1,400 miles of fiber in its rural markets. For nearly a century, TEC has been a forerunner in providing telecommunications services to rural America. Learn more by visiting TEC online.