Tennessee State With Explicit Roadblocks

  • Tennessee State With Explicit Roadblocks

    Posted by Michael on August 11, 2021 at 7:13 am

    Tennessee

    municipalities may only offer broadband service in areas that are deemed “historically underserved,” and only through joint ventures with private companies.

    Tennessee Code Annotated § 7-52-601 et seq; Tennessee Code Ann. § 7-59-316

    Tennessee state laws allow municipalities to operate their own electric utilities to provide broadband, but limits that service provision to within their electric service areas. Public entities must also comply with a number of requirements around public disclosures, hearings and voting — which no private company would need to comply with to offer service. And municipalities with a broadband network may not expand service beyond city limits. For communities without a public utility, municipalities may only offer broadband service in areas that are deemed “historically underserved,” and only through joint ventures with private companies.

    Despite the laws, Chattanooga, Tennessee is home to one of the greatest municipal broadband success stories: city-owned utility Electric Power Board (EPB) built the first fiber network that delivers 1 Gbps to customers in the US. Chattanooga, along with officials from Wilson, North Carolina, challenged the state’s laws before the FCC, which initially ruled in favor of Chattanooga and sought to preempt the state laws in Tennessee preventing EBP from expanding its service to more residents. That ruling was later overturned by an appellate court.

    In 2019, the Tennessee General Assembly considered a pair of bills that would allow municipal electric authorities to offer broadband service outside its service area. The bills died in committee.

    Michael replied 1 year, 1 month ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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