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Public comment period open for broadband expansion opportunity

(Anderson County Mayor’s office) Anderson County residents are encouraged to submit letters of support for broadband expansion in Anderson County and Campbell County. AT&T Corporation has submitted a $1,970,000 grant application for service in the Briceville, Rocky Top and partial Dutch Valley areas of Anderson County.

The online comment period lasts until December 15, 2017 and residents can submit comments online by finding the “Public Comment” tab at http://tn.gov/ecd/article/tnecd-broadband-accessibility-grant and scroll to the particular application that is entitled AT&T Fiber-Anderson County, Application #46.

If residents are unable to submit comments online, they can submit letters of support to the office of Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank and the Mayor’s office will transmit them to the State.

Governor Bill Haslam and the State Legislature passed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act that provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to assist in making broadband available to unserved homes and businesses, in addition to allowing non-profit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service.

The program is managed by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD). The process is very competitive as TNECD received 71 grant applications for a total grant request of $66M. Awards will be announced in January 2018.

The Anderson County Mayor’s Office has worked with members of County Commission and the community on a Broadband Working Group. The group will continue efforts at further grant applications for unserved target areas such as Andersonville, more of Dutch Valley and other identified areas. For questions or more information, please contact the Mayor’s Office at (865) 457-6200.

In a release announcing the public comment period, Mayor Frank said, “We are so happy AT&T was willing to submit an application on behalf of unserved areas in Anderson County, and I hope we can get as many letters of support as possible. I am thankful for the Anderson County Broadband Working Group’s efforts to identify community partners, citizens and supporting agencies to help us with an application. Many thanks are in order to the extensive list of individuals who have already submitted documentation of support from the folks in our school system and libraries, to our volunteer fire departments, community organizations and the many citizens who have signed petitions. We’re sending up prayers and hoping to be chosen so that we can expand educational, health, and economic opportunity to more families in Anderson County.”

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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  1. Daniel J. Hopkinson

    With railroad tracks on the east property line, and a multi-acre cow pasture on the west property line, our property cannot get high speed internet due to existing laws. For several years we operated a hair salon on this property, and we also operate a Christian ministry which has an online facet, but is limited because of the current internet service available. We essentially remain 8-10 years behind the technology developments —— very disconcerting! Hopefully a grant like this would help our situation. Maybe it’s time for broadband internet to become a utility like electricity and landline phone service!

  2. Mickey L C oapman

    Internet is really needed in the royal areas. We live out side of Clinton across railroad tracks and can’t even get daily up . And Comcast is just over 500 ft away. But they will not run it across the tracks. There’s 11 family’s back here and all of them would take it, now days with all the kids needing internet for school for home work and to better there self’s these kids are having it rough I have to take my nephew’s to a friend’s house or library. So they can use the internet ,. This is 2017 with all the technology being used and we can’t get a simple wire pulled across a railroad, to get these kids something they need for there education, come on let’s get this done,

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