Broadband Resources

Broadband Impact One-Pager:  This informative one-pager provides facts and figures on the true value of broadband. See what broadband access currently looks like in Tennessee and how it benefits the people and industries of our state. From economic development and telehealth to agriculture and public safety, broadband is necessary to move forward in this digital economy. 

FCC's Getting Broadband Consumer Guide:  The FCC has produced a consumer guide that includes the basics of what broadband is and the different types of technologies.  

FCC's Fixed Broadband Deployment Map:  Every 6 months, the FCC collects data from broadband providers.  Visit their most recent map to see what providers report coverage in your area.  Data for this map was collected in December 2016 and does not include mobile broadband.  Even in census blocks depicted as being served, it is possible that some locations don’t have access to broadband Internet service.  The potential for discrepancies exists because providers report coverage to the FCC by census blocks rather than by individual locations.

FCC's 2019 Broadband Deployment Report:  Every year, the FCC issues a report on the state of broadband deployment across the country.  Using the data collected from providers, this year’s report puts Tennessee’s 25/3 access rate at 91.3%. The appendix also includes county specific numbers.

Broadband USA's Network Costs at a Glance: The National Telecommunications and Information Administration produced a quick guide to costs associated with broadband deployment. 

American Broadband Initiative – Milestone Report: The report outlines a vision for how the Federal Government can increase broadband access, and actions that Agencies are taking to increase private-sector investment in broadband. The report’s recommendations are grouped into three categories: streamlining federal permitting processes, leveraging federal assets, and maximizing the impact of federal funding.

US Department of Interior: The US Department of the Interior (DOI) launched an effort to increase broadband internet access on federally-managed lands. This website outlines their plan and potential solutions to both improve and streamline the permitting process and includes a mapping tool.

Disconnected: Seven Lessons On Fixing the Digital Divide: This report released in July 2019 from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City focuses on broadband access, economic impact and solutions for communities to narrow the digital divide. Just 53 percent of adults with incomes less than $30,000 in the US have broadband at home. Nearly 68 percent of people without broadband at home live in rural communities. Based on national data, interviews, surveys and roundtables, "Disconnected" illustrates that the digital divide affects every aspect of community and economic development and that digital access should capture the attention of every community leader.

Broadband USA's Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap:  NTIA created this toolkit to support local community in planning activities to help expand broadband in a way that drives economic growth and educational opportunities.       

Appalachian Regional Commission Broadband Planning Primer and Toolkit:  ARC created this toolkit to provide information about broadband technology and resources to support the planning process.

USDA’s Rural e-Connectivity Consumer Toolkit: The USDA’s toolkit highlights examples of how e-Connectivity resources are being used to increase access to broadband services in rural communities. It also allows customers to locate resources the federal government offers for planning, equipment, construction, and other projects.

FCC Consumer Complaint Center:  The FCC has a Consumer Complaint Center where anyone can file an official complaint about a telecom billing or service issue.  The site also allows individuals to participate in an informal process and report any concerns about providers or policies without going through the formal complaint process.          

NTIA Federal Funding Guide:  NTIA has compiled a list of funding resources related to broadband.  

Appalachian Regional Commission POWER Grants: This is a congressionally funded initiative to assist coal-impacted communities in the ARC region.  Broadband is included as one of the four areas of focus for this year’s program.  ARC will  accept applications through Spring 2020. 

Community Connect Grants:  USDA administers this program to support broadband deployment in rural areas.   

USDA ReConnect Grant and Loan Program: Congress appropriated $600M for building improved broadband e-Connectivity for families, businesses, farms, schools and health care facilities by offering loans and grants to build infrastructure and install equipment that provides modern, reliable, high-speed internet service in rural America. Click the link to learn about the requirements including eligible grant applicants and eligible expenses.

Broadband access is more important than ever as many Tennesseans have been instructed to stay home from work and school as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Accessibility is critical to meet our needs for education, telemedicine, telecommuting, and overall quality of life.

Below you will find resources to help navigate through this uncertain time.

TNECD’s Response: Staying Connected During the COVID-19 Quarantine

FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit Program: The FCC's list of providers who are participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. The EBB will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute $10-$50 toward the purchase price.

FCC’s Keep Americans Connected: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the challenges that many Americans will face in the coming months, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently announced the Keep Americans Connected Initiative. In order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances, he specifically asked broadband and telephone service providers, and trade associations, to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Check to see if your provider has signed the pledge.

FCC Lifeline Rules Waived: The FCC announced changes to waive Lifeline program rules to assist program participants potentially affected by the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic and aid community efforts to slow its spread. The Lifeline program plays an important role in ensuring that low-income Americans have access to affordable communications services by providing monthly discounts on broadband and voice services to qualifying consumers.

Free and Low-Cost Internet Plans: NDIA’s list of current offers from major ISPs that will help low-income households to acquire service at no cost, or at very affordable prices. Most have eligibility limitations linked to income or program enrollment. The list also includes established, nationally available low-cost plans offered by nonprofit organizations.

TechforLearners: As part of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s COVID-19 technology initiative, American technology companies were called on to make online learning resources more accessible for teachers, parents, and students. As a result, the technology industry has launched a new resource for educators, administrators, and public officials who are turning to online learning as coronavirus response disrupts the school year.

TSIN Educational Resources: Parents, teachers, and students are adjusting to life at home and learning remotely. The Tennessee Stem Innovation Network team has pulled together a list of some of their favorite educational resources.

Hot Spot Locations
Click the links below for hot spot maps for each broadband provider. Comcast, for instance, has made their Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations available to anyone for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers.

Provider Listing
In response to the quarantine, several broadband providers are temporarily offering free internet service, waiving disconnect and late fees, providing access to wi-fi hot spots, reducing data-usage limitations and other measures to help people at home access the services they need. Click on your provider below to learn the steps they're taking to address connectivity needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Broadband Provider Operational Resources
As broadband providers continue to maintain your operations during the pandemic so that communities can access the connectivity they need, find instructions below for protecting your workforce such as what to do for your employees and facilities as well as guidelines regarding manufacturing and plant operations from the University of Tennessee’s Institute of Public Service