Gonzales attended the Governors' Bill Signing Ceremony of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act in Brownsville Tuesday, May 16 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017 | 3:38pm

NASHVILLE – On Tuesday, May 16th, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the bill for the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act at H&R Agri-Power in Brownsville. Haslam was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris (R-Collierville), Sen. Mike Bell (R-Riceville), Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) and Brownsville Mayor Bill Rawls. Several state, county and city officials were also present.

The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act will increase broadband access to Tennessee’s unserved citizens. The bill provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to assist in making broadband available to unserved homes and businesses. The plan will also permit Tennessee’s private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service and make grant funding available to the state’s local libraries to help residents improve their digital literacy skills and maximize the benefits of broadband.

Tennessee currently ranks 29th in the U.S. for broadband access, with 34 percent of rural Tennessee residents lacking access at recognized minimum standards.

The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act is part of Haslam’s NextTennessee legislative plan aimed at building and sustaining economic growth and the state’s competitiveness for the next generation of Tennesseans.

Pictured below are Commissioner Gonzales, Mayor of Lobelville, Robby J. Moore and Governor Haslam.

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