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$1.35M Broadband Investment Made to Trousdale County

Tri-County Electric officials celebrated with the presentation of a $1.35 million check to help bring broadband to Trousdale County, courtesy of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

 

The money comes in the form of a grant that was announced earlier this year by TNECD and is part of the Broadband Accessibility Act signed into law last year. That law allows electric cooperatives to sell retail broadband service and Tri-County has started its three-year plan to wire almost all of Trousdale County.

 

According to Paul Thompson, Executive Vice President/General Manager of Tri-County, the company has thus far laid approximately 16 miles of fiber since beginning work in April and is looking to begin providing service to customers by July 1. Phase 1 of its project is expected to cover most of the western end of the county within one year.

 

According to Tri-County Marketing Director Tammy Dixon, crews as of last week were working along the Bass Road area.

 

Thompson thanked county and state government for their cooperation in making the possibility of broadband service a soon-to-be reality. “We’ve been extremely fortunate to have Sen. Ferrell Haile and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver as our allies in this entire process,” Thompson said to the audience at Wilson Bank & Trust. “The support Tri-County has received from this community has been incredible.”

 

Thompson also thanked county government and the Hartsville/Trousdale Chamber of Commerce for their respective roles in providing support. After filing the necessary application, Trousdale County was recognized as the state’s first broadband-ready community by the state of Tennessee.

The check was presented by Amanda Martin, broadband director for TNECD, and Amy New, assistant commissioner of rural development for TNECD. The Broadband Accessibility Act provides $10 million in grant funding for each of three years.

 

According to Martin, there were $66 million worth of requests submitted to the state for the first year’s funds. Tri-County’s award of $1.35 million was one of the largest by the program.

 

“It’s thanks to the efforts of communities like yours, saying, ‘We’re not going to settle for being ignored,’ that really pushed this issue and led to the broadband act,” Martin told the audience. “No w we can help pick up some of the cost of building into some of these areas.”

 

By Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com

 

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