On April 24, 2017, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, which creates grant funding and allows private, not-for-profit, member-owned and operated electric cooperatives to provide high-speed internet service to cooperative members.
We realize access to high speed internet is a much needed service in our rural communities and we are exploring the possibility of offering this service. We know it will be an expensive and time consuming undertaking. As we move forward with our broadband study, we would like to assure our members this will not affect your electric rates.
The Tennessee Valley Authority will not allow PEC to finance a project to provide retail broadband with revenue from electric rates. The broadband service would be a stand-alone project. This will be a challenge because the main reason internet service providers such as AT&T and Charter are not already on your street or road is density – not enough potential customers to offset the cost of the investment.
We will do our best to keep our members up to date through The Tennessee Magazine, PEC’s Facebook page and our website.