Measures help support fiber access to rural Tennesseans
As legislators continue to debate the details of President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure bill, U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) has introduced several amendments to expand broadband access for Tennesseans and across the country.
While Tennessee ranks 17 out of 50 in broadband access by state, according to the BroadbandNow website, there’s still plenty of work to be done.
“I appreciate Senator Blackburn’s efforts to make sure the money from President Biden’s infrastructure bill is wisely allocated for broadband projects,” says Levoy Knowles, TNBA executive director. “We want the money used for what’s in the best interest of providing reliable broadband connections for Tennesseans.”
Senator Blackburn’s proposed measures include removing federal barriers to expand rural broadband networks through private investment, as well as ensuring Americans can connect faster following disaster events, prohibiting infrastructure dollars from purchasing fiber equipment manufactured in China, and requiring specific uses for funding for projects from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
“Health care, education, and employment are rapidly transitioning to virtual platforms, and our unserved communities are left behind without broadband,” Blackburn says. “I’ve introduced several measures to the infrastructure legislation to ensure rural communities in Tennessee and across America can stay connected.”