Tennessee legislature passes rural broadband bill

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill that could make it easier for rural areas to get access to the internet amid concerns that it doesn’t do enough to get high-speed access across the state.

During debate in the House Monday evening, lawmakers said they hoped the bill would be a start to getting everyone across the state connected.

The bill, named the Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017, was pushed by Gov. Bill Haslam as a way to help the economy in rural Tennessee.

The measure clears the way for nonprofit electric co-ops to provide both internet and video service. It also gives $45 million in grants and tax credits to co-ops and internet service providers to encourage the development of internet in areas that don’t have it.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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