BrightRidge aims to expand broadband while holding rates flat

BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes speaks during a ribbon cutting for BrightRidge’s broadband service on Jonesborough’s historic Main Street in May of 2019. The company is planning a major expansion of its broadband service over the next 12 months. PHOTO BY DAVE ONGIE

Entering the third year of its broadband rollout, BrightRidge has more than 17,000 serviceable locations, and the company is in the midst of a major push to add 13,000 more serviceable locations over the next 12 months.

The 2021 budget approved last week by the BrightRidge Board of Directors will make the expansion possible, and Boones Creek and Gray will see the biggest expansion in fiber over the next 12 months.

BrightRidge Broadband has placed Washington County, Johnson City and Jonesborough at the forefront nationally of 10 GB-served communities as only a handful of cities across the United States have 10 GB service widely available.

After BrightRidge introduced 10 GB service to Jonesborough’s historic Main Street last May, the town was recently recognized by PC Magazine as a top-15 affordable community for remote workers thanks to the broadband service.

“The broadband marketplace continues to be very competitive, but BrightRidge Broadband continues to be the only locally based provider offering the lowest possible cost with by far the highest available broadband speeds,” BrightRidge Broadband Officer Stacy Evans said. “We have a higher quality product and pricing that can’t be beat.”

The budget approved by the BrightRidge Board will keep electric rates flat for the second year in a row. The TVA is also expected to keep wholesale power rates flat over the next 12 months as lower-than-budgeted fuel costs have helped keep electricity rates in check.

“Our Board of Directors keenly understand our regional economy has a long way to go before we achieve a full recovery,” said BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes. “We’ll continue ongoing efforts to assist customers the best we can while remaining positioned to power the region as recovery continues.”

In all, a healthy financial position has allowed BrightRidge to temporarily suspend non-payment disconnections of customers since March amid several coronavirus-related measures adopted to assist customers in response to the global pandemic.


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