TNECD Now Accepting Broadband Accessibility Grant Applications

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development announced that it is now accepting Broadband Accessibility Grant applications until Nov. 17.  

Established by the recently enacted Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, this program aims to spread broadband access to more Tennesseans while promoting practices that increase deployment and encourage adoption, officials said. In total, $10 million is available in the first round of grants.   

“Rural economic development is a top priority for TNECD and reliable broadband is a lynchpin of our efforts to encourage job growth in Tennessee’s rural communities,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “About one-in-three residents in rural Tennessee do not have broadband access at recognized minimum standards. It is critical that we address this gap and ensure all Tennesseans have reliable internet access. Thanks to Governor Haslam’s leadership and the overwhelming support of the Tennessee General Assembly, TNECD will now be able to provide grants to help make broadband available to residents and businesses that currently go without it.” 

The Broadband Accessibility Grants are meant to help offset the capital expenses of deploying broadband in currently unserved areas. Projects must serve locations without access to download speeds of at least ten megabits per second (10 Mbps) and upload speeds of at least one megabit per second (1 Mbps). Preference will be given to areas that are unlikely to receive broadband service without grant funding.  Applicants must be authorized to provide retail broadband in the proposed service area. 

Following the close of the application period, TNECD will hold a three-week online public comment period to receive additional input and information regarding submitted applications.  

TNECD anticipates announcing grantees in January 2018 with projects underway in early in 2018.  
 More information on Broadband Accessibility Grants and TNECD’s broadband initiatives can be found here.



Applications Open For Eighth Annual ‘Will This Float?’ Competition

The Company Lab is seeking applications for its eighth annual ‘Will This Float?’ competition, which showcases up-and-coming startup ideas in southeast Tennessee. Prospective participants must submit their business concepts by Oct. 3 to enter into consideration.   The competition will take place Oct. 16 from 6-9 p.m. at River Place. Tickets cost $5 in advance or $7 at the ... (click for more)

Goodwill Program Is Focus Of ‘National Employ Older Americans Week’

The week of Sept. 25-Sept. 29 is “National Employ Older Americans Week.”  Led by the U.S. Department of Labor, the week aims to increase awareness of the older employee segment of the workforce and to develop strategies to tap into the potential held by experienced workers. It also showcases the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) which provides on-the-job paid ... (click for more)

Defense Will Not Get Federal Witness In Trial Of Truck Driver Charged In Wreck That Killed 6 People

The federal government is resisting sending a lab technician from Oklahoma to Chattanooga for next week's trial of Benjamin Brewer, who is charged in the wreck at Ooltewah that claimed six lives. Mike Little of the public defender's office said the defense should be entitled to have a live witness, but he also said he did not want the trial delayed again. A jury was selected ... (click for more)

Charles Vaughn, 72, Was Victim In Lookout Valley Fire On Sunday

The victim in Sunday's fatal fire at 1218 Judys Lane in Lookout Valley has been identified as Charles Vaughn. He was 72.   Details on the incident are still being obtained, but Mr. Vaughn was reportedly in the attached garage around  3 p.m. on  Sunday afternoon working on a lawnmower when the fire started. His wife and daughter were in the house ... (click for more)

Tired Of Property Tax Increases

Why is it every time the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County want to raise money they have to punish the homeowners?  I'm sick of the few paying for the many.   If you want to be fair, I would not complain on a 1/2 cent local sales tax raise since everyone would have to contribute their fair share.  Or how about a wheel tax which would get everyone who owns ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Third Son Takes His Life

Steven Ferrin, described by his parents as “a handsome, bubbly and witty young man,” was the victim of what is called “a sectarian attack” in recent weeks near his home in north Belfast (Ireland) and last weekend was found dead after the 31-year-old father of a 7-year-old girl had taken his own life. Compounding the tragedy is the horrific news that Steven’s other two brothers and ... (click for more)