Tennesee’s ranks solidly in the 17th slot when it comes to states with the best broadband access. Over 35% of Tennesee’s residents have access to a fiber-optic connection, which excels above the nation’s average of 25% of consumers with access to fiber services. Large pockets throughout the state enjoy strong high-speed coverage, while other areas, especially toward the west end of the state, have spottier coverage. Tennesseeans experience average download speeds of about 132.7 Mbps.
The Digital Divide in Tennessee
The ‘digital divide’ – the technological gap between Tenesseaeans with access to high-speed, low-priced internet and those who do not – can be seen in the following data.
At this time, 92.2% have access to a wired broadband connection capable of 25 Mbps speeds or faster, which is the vast majority of the state. Still, 492,000 people are left without a broadband connection that can deliver the same speeds. Additionally, even with 193 internet providers operational within Tennessee, 548,000 people only have access to one provider and 274,000 people have no providers offering internet services at their place of residence.
However, Tennessee is ahead of the national curve when comparing nationwide and statewide affordability data. While 51.5% of Americans throughout the country have access to a low-priced internet plan ($60/month or less), 59.5% of Tennesseeans have access to such a plan.
The cities of Chattanooga, Clarksville, Murfreesboro, Nashville, and Knoxville are the most well-connected cities in Tennessee. These cities rank high because they offer the best balance of high speeds and coverage with low pricing, with Chattanooga’s residents enjoying the best in the state.
Internet for Rural Areas in Tennessee
On the flip side, Eagan, Dellrose, Frankewing, Newcomb, and Hornsby are the worst-connected cities in Tennesee when it comes to their broadband speed, coverage, and pricing. Eagan is currently the lowest-ranking city in the state.
Since 2010, nearly $4.5 million in federal grant funding has been awarded to the Connected Tennessee program, which has worked to collect broadband data and fuel development. Beyond that, $15,865,636 in federal grants as gone toward broadband infrastructure projects within the state.
Additionally, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has launched the Tennessee Broadband Initiative to further expand broadband resources throughout the state.
The information above is taken from a mix of public and private datasets. More about our data here.