Governor Signs Initiative Sponsored By Representative Tillis Slashing Taxes for Rural Broadband Providers

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an initiative sponsored by State Representative Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg) that slashes taxes on rural broadband service providers.

 

House Bill 605 is a part of comprehensive, Republican-led plan to support rural broadband deployment by eliminating approximately $2.5 million in sales tax on fiber optic cable.

The measure builds upon recent efforts to provide reliable broadband internet services to underserved or unserved areas of the state through business investment and deregulation as part of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, which passed during the 110th General Assembly.

 

“We must continue to support the efforts of our providers who are determined to increase access to reliable broadband services, especially in our rural Tennessee communities, and House Bill 605 will help us accomplish this important goal,” said Representative Tillis. “These services are critical to our current and future economic development and success across all regions of this state. I appreciate Governor Lee’s support of this initiative, and I am thankful he signed my bill into law.”

 

In his State of the State Address in March, Lee emphasized the importance of broadband for both healthcare and educational opportunities, which were two areas he believed would have the greatest effect on rural Tennesseans.

The Broadband Accessibility Act came into effect in 2017. Since then FPU has competed twice to receive grant funding through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. FPU will compete in the third round of grant application this year.

 

"Providing broadband services to rural areas is an important part of what we do at Fayetteville Public Utilities. These types of incentives allow us greater opportunity to expand our services further and offer additional opportunity for new business and industry considering locating to Fayetteville and Lincoln County,” says Britt Dye, FPU CEO/General Manager.