Williamson County plans new broadband Internet projects

The Williamson County Commission stated its willingness to help fund broadband Internet projects in the county in two resolutions that passed unanimously on March 14.

The money will come from more than $46 million that Williamson County is set to receive in US bailout funds aimed at providing relief from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Management has received half so far.

The Tennessee Department of Economic Development’s Broadband Division is giving up to $400 million in US government bailout money for an emergency broadband fund. Government funds will cover up to 70% of approved broadband projects, while service providers will be responsible for the remaining 30%.

In the decisions, the commissioners indicated that the county is eager to help service providers cover their quota.

Williamson County Commissioner Paul Webb speaks at Lipscombe Elementary School during its 150th anniversary celebration in 2016.

Commissioner Paul Webb has been at the forefront of coordinating the partnership between the Williamson County government and broadband providers.

“We have before us these two decisions with the purpose of showing the state that we have a strong interest in saving a portion of the counties (the bailout) money if we are lucky to receive it from the state,” he said.

Five broadband providers — Comcast, United Communications, Charter Communications, AT&T and Conexon — have expressed interest in building new infrastructure in the county, according to Webb.