NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Rural Scott County could serve as a model for how grant money can be leveraged to spur much-needed infrastructure investments such as high-speed Internet.
The Tennessean (http://tnne.ws/2iw1xMn ) reports that Scott County, located 60 miles northwest of Knoxville, is classified by the state as economically distressed, but its local cooperative now has some of the fastest internet services in the nation.
Recent county upgrades that include 2,700 miles of fiber installation stem from a $67 million federal grant awarded to Highland Telephone Cooperative in 2010, part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The benefits have been wide-ranging and have helped local businesses, schools and health care clinics.
Gov. Bill Haslam has created a group within his administration to study how to improve rural broadband access across the state.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com