Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Redlined in Bradley County, Tennessee

Broadband providers battle over service in Bradley County | Times Free Press: Dr. Terry Forshee, president of Cherokee Pharmacy stores in Cleveland and Dalton, is eager for that growth. He said he can't get broadband at his South Bradley County home near Red Clay State Park.

"Charter Communications has had 27 years to bring cable down to me, but I'm still three miles away from service," he said. "I'm waiting, and I call every month to both Charter and AT&T, but I can't get anyone to come to my residence."

Forshee said he is trying to build his obesity education business, Take Charge, into a national company. But that's hard to do when he can't get high-speed Internet service at home.

Sandy Wallis lives in northern Bradley County, less than a quarter-mile from where Charter Communications and AT&T lines end.

"I've lived in my house for 30 years waiting on Charter and AT&T, and I've had to send my kids into town to do their homework (where broadband is available)," she told the Chamber gathering. "We need better service."

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules adopted earlier this year require Internet Service Providers fulfill requests for service under universal service and non-discrimination provisions of the Communications Act. Internet service is treated as a common carrier telecommunications utility under the rules. So far, however, there are no indications the FCC is enforcing these requirements in response to reports of ISP redlining such as these.

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