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Tennessee announces $20M in broadband grants

April 6, 2020 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Top Tennessee officials say nearly $20 million in broadband accessibility grants have been awarded to help support nearly 31,000 underserved residents.

Gov. Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe announced the grants to 17 recipients on Friday.

“One of my top priorities is ensuring the success of rural Tennessee. With the assistance of these grants, communities across 21 counties will now have access to broadband that will aid in that success,” Lee said in a statement.

This is the third year the broadband grants have been available. This year, grantees have agreed to provide $29.8 million in matching funds to complete the projects for a combined investment of $49.5 million across the state.

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Recipients range from $2 million to Ben Lomand Connect to serve parts of Cumberland County; $1.7 million to Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative to serve parts near the Brownsville community in Haywood County and $1.5 million to BTC Fiber to serve parts of Bledsoe County.