Broadband access is a critical component of our overall community development strategy. Tennessee employs numerous funding sources and programs to encourage broadband deployment into our unserved, rural areas. Programs include the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant, Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) projects, digital literacy funding with our local libraries and funding for free public wi-fi in our local downtowns. The Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund utilizes a portion of the State of Tennessee’s federal aid known as the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to enhance broadband infrastructure and access to individuals and families affected during the COVID-19 pandemic by the lack of broadband access in their area. Additionally, we award political subdivisions the “Broadband Ready Community” designation who have demonstrated marked support for broadband on the local level. Locations eligible for the Broadband Ready Community designation include cities, towns, counties and unincorporated communities.