11:58am

Wed November 9, 2011
Rural Tennesseans Most Likely to Benefit

MTSU Prof. Says Fed Internet Plan Akin to TVA Effort

A MTSU Professor says that a federal internet plan could have a profound impact on Tennessee.

Federal regulators are announcing today that they've cobbled together a consortium of businesses and non-profit organizations to cut the number of U.S. homes that don't have broadband internet service, now at one third, or about 35 million homes.

As part of a federal project cable companies will offer Internet service for $9.95 per month to poor homes with children eligible for the school lunch program.   The plan will be available starting next summer.

Dr. Henry Means at the Middle Tennessee State University College of Education, says Tennessee’s rural communities will see the greatest benefit.  He likens the effort to the electrification of the south by TVA during the Depression years.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski says poor households are less likely to be connected to broadband, hampering them in job searches and job applications.