The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act is headed to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk for his signature.
The bill provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to help make broadband available to unserved homes and businesses. It also allows Tennessee's private, nonprofit electric cooperatives to provide retail broadband service.
The third part of the bill makes grant funding available to local libraries to help residents improve their digital literacy skills.
About 34 percent of rural Tennesseans don't currently have broadband access at recognized minimum standards, according to the state.
The Senate passed the broadband bill 31-0 on April 3, and the House passed it Monday with a 93-4 vote.
The broadband act was part of Haslam's NextTennessee legislative agenda.
In a statement Monday, Haslam said the act provides a "reasonable, responsible path to improve broadband access through investment, deregulation and education.”
“More than 800,000 Tennesseans don’t have access to broadband, and one in three businesses identified it as essential to selecting their location. Spurring deployment in our rural, unserved areas will open them up to economic investment and growth,” Haslam said.
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