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VOL. 41 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 12, 2017

Haslam to sign rural broadband bill in West Tennessee

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BROWNSVILLE (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam is headed to West Tennessee to sign a bill seeking to make it easier for rural areas to get access to the internet.

The Republican governor is scheduled to sign the Broadband Accessibility Act of 2017 at a ceremony in Brownsville on Tuesday afternoon.

The measure clears the way for nonprofit electric co-ops to start providing both internet and video service. It also provides $45 million in grants and tax credits to co-ops and internet service providers, like AT&T and Comcast, to encourage the development of internet in areas that don't have it.

A last-minute change adopted by lawmakers lowered the minimum internet speed requirement from download speeds from the federal definition of 25 megabits per second to 10 megabits per second.