Volunteer Energy Cooperative is Encouraged by State Broadband Study

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development released the results of a comprehensive study on broadband access in Tennessee earlier yesterday, and Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC) is encouraged by the report’s findings and recommendations.

The study, which examines broadband use and availability, finds that regulatory barriers in the state restrict investment and reduce competition. The report specifically mentions a state law that prevents electric cooperatives from providing retail broadband.

“The study identifies rural and economically distressed regions of the state as areas of greatest need. These are the same communities served by co-ops like VEC,” says David Murphy, Vice President of Marketing and Economic Development with VEC.  “Despite our unique position, Tennessee state law prevents co-ops from providing broadband access to our members. We are optimistic that the legislature will act on the recommendations of this study, creating an environment that encourages investment, competition and, ultimately, greater access to broadband.”

“VEC is committed to improving lives in the communities we serve,” says Murphy. “We are excited to work with the state to identify real solutions that will benefit our members.”

You can view the full report here: http://www.tn.gov/assets/entities/ecd/attachments/broadband-study.pdf