From the State of Tennessee draft Digital Opportunity Plan released in September 2023:

Tennessee’s vision for digital opportunity is ensuring that all Tennesseans have access to affordable and reliable internet service, dependable technology, and the digital literacy skills necessary to empower individuals to fully access all digital opportunities.

In a digitally equitable Tennessee:

  • Students and teachers will not struggle to access assignments outside the classroom.
  • Doctors and other medical professionals will be able to easily communicate with patients
  • Senior citizens and other vulnerable populations will know how to use digital devices safely and stay connected with friends and loved ones.
  • Tennessee will become an even more competitive state for business opportunities once its entire workforce has access to high-speed internet.
  • Tennessee can continue honoring its commitment to offering high-quality, efficient services.
  • All Tennessee communities, regardless of location, will be strengthened when all Tennesseans have access to high-speed internet and have the resources to adopt.

To achieve Digital Opportunity, all Tennesseans must have access to available and affordable broadband infrastructure regardless of their geographic location, educational attainment, or income level. We advocate for a long-term investment in broadband infrastructure maintenance and digital skills training across the state. In a digitally equitable Tennessee, an extensive network exists between internet service providers, digital inclusion non-profits, the state Broadband Office, and the public that collectively works towards closing the digital divide. Innovative and impactful digital opportunity work has been present in the state for years but often with limited resources. The State Broadband Office hopes to support existing digital opportunity work and develop new initiatives to guarantee that every Tennessean who wants to access the Internet can do so easily. The vision for the state’s Digital Opportunity Plan is to develop strategies to establish sustainable digital opportunity programming that empowers Tennesseans to expand their capacity for employment, promote information sharing across partners, organizations, and agencies tied to digital opportunity, and most importantly, achieve Digital Opportunity in Tennessee through tangible programs and resources.