1st of many federal broadband grants announced in Tennessee

Posted at 8:22 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 21:23:00-04

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has announced the first of many federal investments targeting the creation of critical broadband internet infrastructure in underserved rural areas across the country.

Perdue visited the West Tennessee city of Halls on Friday to announce a $2.85 million grant to improve broadband internet connectivity for 347 households in rural Lauderdale County.

In a town hall meeting later in the day in Memphis, Perdue said the Forked Deer Electric Cooperative will use the ReConnect Program grant to deploy fiber to the co-op's home broadband network. The fiber is capable of transmission rates of 100 megabits per second or greater.

Congress has provided $600 million to the Agriculture Department to expand broadband infrastructure and services in the rural U.S. More grants will be announced later.