Tennessee finds most residents can access broadband, but don’t use it

Tennessee finds most residents can access broadband, but don’t use it

A state-commissioned survey of broadband access in Tennessee found that the vast majority of residents have access to broadband but choose to use cheaper internet services instead.

The study, commissioned by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, found that less than 25 percent of residents subscribe to broadband services, even though 87 percent have access to fast internet.

Rural areas, unsurprisingly, fared worse, with about one-third of residents not having access to broadband (compared to just 2 percent of those in urban areas.) That’s broadband as measured by the Federal Communications Commission’s new standard of a 25-megabit/sec download speed, increased from 10 mbps in 2015.

That difference is significant because the report also included an estimate of what it would cost to connect every home with broadband that currently doesn’t have access. To provide all homes with 10/1 download/upload speeds would cost between $819 million and $1.26 billion. For the new 25/3 standard, that cost jumps to between $1.17 billion and $1.72 billion.

State leaders note there are no plans yet for such an endeavor, but given the bureaucratic push to classify broadband as a utility, such a move wouldn’t come as a surprise. The report was delivered to Gov. Bill Haslam and the Tennessee General Assembly.

Read the full story on Watchdog.org.

About the Authors

Johnny Kampis is a content editor and staff writer at Watchdog.org.

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