State announces Emergency Broadband grants

Great news for those underserved internet access communities in Roane County, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group recently announced $61 million will be awarded in Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund grants to improve access to broadband internet across the state. The grants are funded through the State’s Coronavirus Relief Fund allotment from the federal government and distributed through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Locally, six major grants totaling more than $4.1 million combined have been awarded in Roane, Rhea and Campbell Counties to expand broadband services. The grants will result in expansion of services to over 1,321 homes or businesses in these counties.

Those grant recipients include Comcast Campbell County, which will receive approximately $220,000 to provide service for 146 new homes, and Comcast Roane County, which has been awarded approximately $868,000 grant to expand service into 391 new homes. Other recipients include Volunteer Energy Cooperative in Ten Mile and South Roane County, which is receiving approximately $2.88 million to extend broadband to 661 new homes and
businesses. Three entities in Rhea County received a total of $140,000 in grant funding to bring broadband to 124 new location.

“This $61 million investment in additional broadband grants, in conjunction with the $60 million the General Assembly has already appropriated, will continue to increase access to high speed internet services across Tennessee. Our families, schools, businesses, and health
care communities will benefit from this enhanced broadband infrastructure,” said House Speaker Cameron Sexton. “I appreciate Gov. Lee, Lt. Gov. McNally, our Accountability Group members and the General Assembly for their ongoing efforts to help strengthen Tennessee’s infrastructure; we will continue working together to identify and create solutions that address both our immediate and our emerging, long-term needs.”

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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