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DTC Awarded $1.7 Million Broadband Accessibility Grant

February 2, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

DTC Communications is being awarded a $1.7 million broadband accessibility grant to help build new infrastructure to serve parts of Smith and Wilson counties.

The announcement was made last week by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe. A total of $9.844 million in broadband accessibility grants are being awarded by the state that will help build new broadband infrastructure in parts of 13 Tennessee counties.

DTC Communications is in the midst of a major effort to build a world class high-speed broadband network for its five county service area with fiber optics. The $40 million project is being done in phases to serve DeKalb, Cannon, Wilson, Rutherford, and Smith counties. The goal is to complete the initial build-out within five years. The grant will aid DTC in funding the project.

The grants are the result of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, Haslam’s 2017 legislation to increase broadband to more Tennesseans and offset the capital expenses of deploying broadband in areas that currently lack access. The grants will provide broadband service to more than 5,000 locations in counties across the state.

Alongside digital literacy grants announced last week, the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act has already supported nearly $10 million in broadband investments across the state.

“In communities across Tennessee, broadband is an essential service that will increase economic investment and growth to help businesses, families and individuals thrive,” Haslam said. “With the assistance of these grants, underserved communities will now have access to broadband that will benefit not only the communities themselves, but the state as a whole. These grants are a step in the right direction for our state and will help Tennessee reach its full potential.”

TNECD received 71 applications requesting more than $66 million in funding. The nine grantees selected demonstrated a high need for grant funding, the ability to implement and sustain the project long term, strong community support and the economic impact of the infrastructure deployment. Grantees will provide more than $10 million in matching funds for a combined investment of more than $20 million across the state.

“One of our top priorities is creating an environment in Tennessee that promotes job growth and success in rural communities. With the leadership of Gov. Haslam and support of the Tennessee General Assembly, those rural communities will now have access to reliable internet and will be better equipped for success,” Rolfe said.

The grant recipients include:
• Aeneas Communications: $190,000 to serve parts of Hardeman County
• Ben Lomand Communications: $1,025,000 to serve the Pocahontas Community in Coffee County
• Comcast: $850,000 to serve parts of Tipton County
• DTC Communications: $1,725,000 to serve parts of Smith and Wilson counties
• Gibson Electric Membership Corporation: $1,353,148.14 to serve parts of Lake and Obion counties
• Scott County Telephone Cooperative: $1,900,000 to serve Surgoinsville in Hawkins County
• Sunset Digital Communications: $1,375,000 to serve parts of Claiborne and Hancock counties
• Tri-County Fiber Communications: $1,350,000 to serve parts of Sumner and Trousdale counties
• Volunteer First Services: $76,714 to serve the Sunset Ridge Community in Cumberland County

In 2016, TNECD released a commissioned study assessing broadband in Tennessee that found that 13 percent of Tennessee residents do not have access to broadband at federally recognized standards. The Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act provides $45 million over three years in grants and tax credits for service providers to assist in making broadband available to unserved homes and businesses. The TBAA also permits private, nonprofit electrical cooperatives to begin providing retail broadband services to their members.

Kurt Bass Appointed as New DTC Board Member

February 2, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

Kurt Bass has been appointed as a member of the DTC Communications Board of Directors in the Temperance Hall exchange, filling the unexpired term of Jimmy Oakley who recently resigned. Oakley proudly served on the board from 2011-2017, always keeping the best interests of the cooperative and its members at heart. Bass serves as a Licensed Funeral Director and Apprentice Embalmer with Bass Funeral Home, Inc. in Gordonsville and Carthage, and Avant Funeral Home in Alexandria, becoming the fifth generation member in his family business. He is a 2010 graduate of Gordonsville High School and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In 2012, Bass earned a Funeral Director certificate from John A. Gupton College in Nashville. In 2016, he earned an Accounting degree from Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville. Bass is the son of Danny and the late Annette Manning Bass of Lancaster. He is married to Christina Massey of Stonewall, and they have two children, Benjamin and Katherine. He and his family attend Carthage United Methodist Church where he serves on the Board of Trustees, and is involved in both the youth group and choir. Bass is also a member of the Southside Lions Club and the Carthage Masonic Lodge.
“My family has been involved with DTC Communications since the very beginning, previously having several family members serve on the board of directors,” said Bass of his appointment to the board. “Serving people has been a tradition in my family through our business and within the community for over 100 years. It is a great honor for me to serve the members of DTC Communications. I look forward to this opportunity to represent not only the people of Temperance Hall, but each and every member of the cooperative.”
DTC Communications is a member-owned telecommunications cooperative established in 1951. The cooperative provides communication, entertainment, and security products and services to residential and business customers, primarily throughout Middle Tennessee.

Man Charged with Assaulting Girlfriend after Chasing her with a Knife

February 2, 2018
By: Dwayne Page

A man accused of chasing his girlfriend with a knife and assaulting her was arrested last week.

41 year old Joey Williams of Short Mountain Highway, Smithville is charged with aggravated assault. His bond is $5,000 and his court date is February 15.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on Thursday, January 25 a deputy was dispatched to the Sheriff’s Office to speak with a woman who claimed to be a victim of an assault by her boyfriend. She told the officer that after they had gotten into an argument, her boyfriend chased her outside with a knife and then beat and kicked before holding her down and trying to choke her. She had red marks on her neck and bruises on her leg.

25 year old Randy Mitchell Hobbs, Jr. of Retha Frazier Road, Woodbury is charged with a third offense of driving on a revoked license. His bond is $12,500 and his court date is February 15.

Sheriff Ray said that on Friday, January 26 a deputy spotted a blue Ford Mustang on Highway 53 and knew that the driver had warrants against him.

The officer stopped the vehicle and spoke with the driver, Hobbs. A computer confirmed that Hobbs had active warrants against him by the THP for evading arrest and driving on a revoked license for failure to pay fines. He was later charged with a second offense for driving on a revoked license.

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