Gov. Haslam signs rural broadband bill in West Tennessee

Gov. Haslam signs rural broadband bill in West Tennessee

May 16th, 2017 by Associated Press in Breaking News

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam speaks during a news conference on the final day of the legislative session Wednesday, May 10, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam has signed a bill seeking to make it easier for rural areas to get access to the internet.

The Republican governor gave official approval to the Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017 at a ceremony in Brownsville on Tuesday afternoon.

The measure clears the way for nonprofit electric co-ops to start providing both internet and video service. It also provides $45 million in grants and tax credits to co-ops and internet service providers, like AT&T and Comcast, to encourage the development of internet in areas that don't have it.

A last-minute change adopted by lawmakers lowered the minimum internet speed requirement from download speeds from the federal definition of 25 megabits per second to 10 megabits per second.


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