TNECD awards $20 million in rural broadband grants; Ben Lomand awarded $2 million

Broadband and internet access are crucial for rural Tennessee, now more than ever, and TNECD continues to invest in broadband infrastructure for unserved communities. 

Last Friday, TNECD announced $19.7 million in broadband accessibility grants that will expand service to support 31,000 unserved Tennesseans in nearly 12,700 households and businesses. Ben Lomand Connect is one of the organizations that was awarded. Ben Lomand will receive $2 million. Ben Lomand Connect was incorporated in 1952, to provide local telephone service to rural middle Tennessee. It has over 32,000 access lines covering 3,200 square miles of territory. The cooperative has more than 20,000 internet customers with more than 8,000 connected with Ben Lomand Fiber.

Grantees will provide $29.8 million in matching funds to complete the projects for a combined investment of $49.5 million across the state in this third year of the program. Since 2018, TNECD has awarded more than $44 million in broadband grants.

This round’s grant recipients include:

Ben Lomand Connect: $2,000,000 serving parts of Cumberland County

BTC Fiber:  $1,500,000 serving parts of Bledsoe County

Charter Communications (Spectrum):  $140,433 serving parts of Henderson County

Comcast:  $568,509.64 serving parts of Cheatham and Dickson Counties

Fayetteville Public Utilities: $1,750,000 serving parts of Lincoln County

Forked Deer Electric Cooperative: $719,921 serving parts of Haywood and Lauderdale Counties

Gibson Electric Membership Corporation: $703,518 serving parts of Obion County

HolstonConnect, LLC: $361,211 serving the Mooresburg community in Hamblen and Hawkins Counties

Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative: $593,166 serving parts of south Perry County

PVECFiber and Scott County Telephone Cooperative: $1,908,811.24 serving part of Union County

SVEConnect: $1,654,882 serving the Battle Creek and South Pittsburg Mountain communities in Marion County

Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative: $1,768,686 serving parts near the Brownsville community in Haywood County

TEC: $826,677.45 serving parts of the Buena Vista and McLemoresville communities in Carroll County

Tri-County Fiber Communications, LLC: $501,811 serving parts of Trousdale County

Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperative: $1,406,000 serving parts of Fentress and Overton Counties

United Communications: $1,331,504.80 serving the Eagleville community in rural Rutherford and Williamson Counties

West Kentucky and Tennessee Telecommunications Cooperative: $2,000,000 serving parts of Weakley County

To learn more about Tennessee’s broadband initiatives, visit tn.gov/broadband.

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