Internet Access: 15 Percent are still Under-served in Tennessee

Amplification of Internet demand gives opportunity for major internet providers to extend serviceability of certain areas. “We believe that it’s vital for our area for growth, for economic development, and the education of our children,” Shannon Littleton Manager of LCUB (Lenoir City Utilities Board). However, rural areas are still in one– or zero options in hardwired broadband.

LCUB is still deciding whether to stretch out an 83-mile fiber-optic loop. To conduct the said plan require a big capital investment as per Littleton. Back in 2010, they bagged $4,479,620 in federal grants for Tennessee’s Broadband Initiative. Last 2011 at least 10 Mbps wired connection access has improved from 89.0{82420c97707a3781aafdf16cd101fa9ef84723d614dac73bc18e86d345751dc0} to 93.6{82420c97707a3781aafdf16cd101fa9ef84723d614dac73bc18e86d345751dc0} of Tennesseans. But as of today 275,000 people are yet under-resourced on any wired internet providers available where they live.

There was a rapid growth on improvement with internet connection within a year after the funds have been granted. But stats shows that many residents have not yet been served with access. Only 29.4{82420c97707a3781aafdf16cd101fa9ef84723d614dac73bc18e86d345751dc0} of Tennesseans have access to fiber-optic service, 20.0{82420c97707a3781aafdf16cd101fa9ef84723d614dac73bc18e86d345751dc0} to fixed wireless service and 28.9{82420c97707a3781aafdf16cd101fa9ef84723d614dac73bc18e86d345751dc0} to 1 gigabit broadband. So does that mean growth in certain areas are deteriorating? It was mentioned that Internet access is crucial in 21st Century growth in almost all aspects.

There are six Major Internet Providers in the area.
AT&T serves more than 65,000 residents and businesses in the Knoxville area–Cathy Lewandowski
Charter/Spectrum service is available to more than 130,000 area homes–Patti Braskie Michel
Comcast offers Xfinity service in “all or parts” of Knox and all adjacent counties–Sara Jo Walker
Frontier’s internet service is available in all of Grainger County, Claxton in Anderson County, and Powell in Knox County–Bob Elek
TDS serves about 14,000 Knox Countians in Concord, Halls and Farragut–Cindy Tomlimson
WOW!’s high-speed internet and other services are available to more than 52,600 homes and businesses in the Knoxville area—Debra Havins

Major improvement in about 13,000 locations awaits if board of LCUB push through with the development plan. If agreed, they will most probably copy how Maryville’s municipal run their internet. Fiber ran via existing utility conduit which is the foundation of Spectrum leases to provide the area. The new development will at least take few months to launch and approximately 7 years to be vastly available according to Littleton. Internet access to these areas will contribute to learning advancement and
progress in educational targets. More businesses will quarry to them as potential growth and investment prospect. The decision will affect 70,000 people within the utility proximity from what Littleton gave as a ratio in Knox news.


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