Both Blackburn and Bredesen say they want to expand rural internet. Here's how each would do it.
Nashville, TN. (October 11, 2018) - For Tennessee residents living in Hamilton County, home to Chattanooga's municipally provided internet, 1 percent of residents lack access to basic internet speeds.
But in Hickman County, 35 percent lack access to basic internet, or speeds of 25 megabits per second. In Wayne, Perry and Hancock counties, each classified by the state as economically distressed or at-risk, about 20 percent to 30 percent lack access, according a 2016 report from the Tennessee Economic and Community Development office.
"A lot of people don’t have it at home," said Hickman County Library Director David Dansby. "If you can get it at home, it's dial-up and hard to connect."
Hickman residents depend on the library's internet to fill out unemployment claims, look for jobs, complete homework and conduct basic tasks, he said. While some live just a few minutes away, others will drive a half hour to use the library's internet.
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