A Monroe County-wide high speed broadband network as a utility

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Now that Monroe County ranks in the bottom 25% of counties in the United States, isn’t it time to do something bold? What if we built a high speed fiber-optic broadband network county-wide and treated it like a utility?

The electric utilities would own the fiber and maintain it, our high schools could train and certify students to operate the network as interns with assistance from County IT or a third party, and local businesses and organizations could deliver services like broadband, healthcare, public education, home security, etc over the network into our homes and businesses.

Revenues generated from the network could be used to fund annual competitions for start-up grants for new businesses in Monroe County and also to  fund competitive high school vs high school hack-a-thons.

What would this do for Monroe County?

  • Decrease costs for broadband connectivity by increasing competition
  • Increase access to healthcare/telemedicine
  • Increase access to broadband (we’re currently 84th out of 95 counties in Tennessee in broadband availability)
  • Make school issued Chromebooks useful outside of school
  • Participating students would graduate with industry standard IT certifications AND real world experience
  • Opportunities to use that experience to build businesses in Monroe County
  • Keep the millions of dollars spent with the most hated companies in America (Comcast/Charter/AT&T/TDS) in our local economy
  • Make our industrial development sites more competitive
  • Increase property values
  • Attract developers
  • Increase agricultural efficiency
  • More effective emergency services (police, fire, EMS)
  • Increase electrical grid efficiency
  • Provide infrastructure for  smart-city initiatives/grants opportunities
  • Increase the value of our workforce by becoming more technologically adept and through distance-learning opportunities


(Thanks to EntryPoint Networks for the images.)

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