Recent News // News Release: Rutherford County Joins Innovative Broadband Expansion Effort; Enlists Connected Tennessee to Assist with FCC Grant Application Development
Leaders enlist in Connected program to bridge technology gap, boost economy; will partner with Connected Tennessee to complete FCC grant application
Eagleville, TN – Rutherford County leaders have enrolled their community in an innovative program that seeks to boost the local economy and quality of life for residents though increased access, adoption, and use of broadband, and have also enlisted the assistance of Connected Tennessee with completing an FCC grant application to support the extension of broadband Internet to unserved and underserved areas of the county.
On May 21, Connected Tennessee West Tennessee State Operations Manager Deanna Ward led Rutherford County leaders through the steps of the Connected Community Engagement Program, which offers a comprehensive and localized way for communities to bridge the digital divide impacting many communities. The kickoff-planning meeting was held at Eagleville City Center.
“Tennessee and Rutherford County have always been superior in roadways, utilities, and infrastructure. The electronic world in which we live brings many opportunities to business and private citizens that have never been available before but it is often taken for granted that all areas receive the same level of service,” said Eagleville Mayor Sam Tune. “The truth is, this is the furthest from the truth; while the more populated areas and cities receive the latest, most updated services, communities such as Eagleville are very underserved.”
The Connected Community Engagement Program entails building a comprehensive Technology Action Plan for developing a technology-ready community by reviewing the technology landscape, developing regional partnerships, establishing local teams, and conducting a thorough community assessment.
“Our citizens and businesses suffer from lack of quality Internet service; with better service we would be able to recruit more business, real estate and home values would increase as this would enable and encourage the growing need for home base business as well,” said Tune. “Online testing and training would allow our citizens to prepare for jobs in nearby cities and compete with job salaries in Nashville.”
With Rutherford County having four census blocks that qualify for the FCC grant - education, economy, emergency services and healthcare - Ward provided a presentation on the grant opportunity, explaining the rules for the application process and submission deadline.
“It is the county’s belief that extending robust and scalable broadband Internet will significantly enhance many of our residents’ quality of life in regards to access to continuing education, telemedicine, employment, and many other capabilities needed in today’s communities,” said Community Champion Jeff Davidson, deputy to the mayor for Rutherford County.
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About Connected Tennessee: As Tennessee’s state broadband initiative, Connected Tennessee is a public-private partnership that joins with technology-minded businesses, government entities, universities, and non-profit organizations to improve economic development and enhance quality of life by accelerating Tennessee’s technology landscape. For maps, research, or more information about what Connected Tennessee is doing to expand broadband access, adoption, and use, visit www.connectedtn.org.
Connected Nation developed the Connected Community Engagement Program to help guide a community through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status. Connected Certified Communities have measurably demonstrated their proficiency for effective Access, Adoption, and Use of broadband supported technologies. Connected Nation through its partners provides a national platform for recognizing those communities that excel across these important benchmarks. Funded by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), this effort is part of the State Broadband Initiative. http://www.connectednation.org/get-connected