Tennessee to Expand Broadband Coverage

Tennessee to Expand Broadband Coverage

Internet connections and availability in Tennessee can be somewhat limited thanks to two different factors. One of those factors includes geographic hurdles which are found in the eastern half of the state thanks to the Appalachian Mountains.  Another obstacle is that much of the same region is home to some of the poorest counties in the United States.  As a result, there are those who can’t afford internet, much less service from a satellite provider which is often all that is currently available. 


On the other hand, the state has recently benefited from millions being pumped into the economy in order to expand broadband service throughout Tennessee.  Not only will residents have access to services cheaper and more reliable than ever before, the expansion will also provide a big boost to the economy. 


It is estimated that the state of Tennessee could get a boost of $ 2.4 billion from even a modest increase in broadband service.  This is according to a study by Connected Nation which is a private-public technology advocacy group.  In addition, it is also estimated that rural internet expansion could create an additional 49,000 jobs. This is coming from the manpower that it will take in order to install and run the new lines and make sure the system is running properly.  In turn, these 49,000 jobs will create more money being poured into the economy thanks to those employees spending money on goods and services.  It is estimated that the jobs could create more than $ 1.6 billion in direct income growth. 


Expanding the internet in Tennessee could also result in more than $ 13 million in average health care costs.  This comes from savings thanks to rural residents being able to see a specialist without having to leave their hometown.  Thanks to broadband, residents will be able to visit a local doctor and have an exam performed over the internet.  This saves on travel costs and time while still getting the same level of care. 


In addition, Connected Nation estimates that residents could see more than $ 130 million in savings on gas mileage costs.  This comes from Tennesseans being able to shop online without having to drive to a nearby town with a better shopping selection.  In addition, with broadband more and more people will be able to work from home and teleworking will cut down on commute times and result in gas savings. 


However, the savings are not just limited to the state of Tennessee.  The report which is entitled “The Economic Impact of Stimulating Broadband Nationally,” shows that the savings nationwide from internet expansion can be impressive.  It is estimated that the United States could see a $ 134 billion annual impact from increased broadband.  This comes from more jobs being created, gas savings, health care savings and being able to telecommute.


For many experts, broadband expansion is the only way Tennessee and the country can continue be grow.  Many officials liken broadband service to being as important as four-lane highways and rural areas must have reliable service. 


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