Broadband Update


  Public Service Announcement

April 25, 2017     

With the passage of the “Rural Broadband Expansion Bill” by the 110th Tennessee General Assembly earlier this month and now the recent signing of the bill into law by Governor Haslam, Fort Loudoun Electric Cooperative (FLEC) finds its Board of Directors and management seriously studying their next steps.  “We are excited about the option…it is exciting that our Cooperative’s members now have the option of deciding to serve broadband…or…not to serve broadband,” shared Jarrod Brackett, FLEC’s CEO/General Manager.  Tennessee cooperatives collectively supported legislation to provide the broadband option.  Brackett encouraged all of FLEC’s members to, “let Governor Haslam and our Tennessee legislators know how much you appreciate the options available to cooperatives now.  We have legislators committed to assisting in improving the quality of life for those who live in the communities we serve.”

Brackett added, “FLEC has been discussing the necessary steps to provide broadband for some time now.    FLEC has been studying multiple options to help provide broadband in unserved or underserved communities; but at this point, no firm decisions have been made.  A comprehensive survey of the membership and feasibility studies are planned to better target areas of concern.  Then, the FLEC Board and members must formally approve the Cooperative’s pursuit of broadband service by changing the Cooperative’s bylaws.  Even if this happens, there is a long list of things to consider and finalize before we will be able to provide this service.”  Brackett concluded with this statement, “Folks are calling the Cooperative about us providing broadband service.  We ask them to understand, it will take us about six months to clarify what FLEC’s members want us to do.  Then, it will likely take at least another twelve to eighteen months to actually implement any preliminary broadband options, if it is approved by the membership to pursue a broadband option at the annual meeting .”

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