Study: KUB broadband proposal could bring increased GDP, reduced job search time

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee has completed an economic impact study on the Knoxville Utilities Board municipal broadband proposal for the utility’s electric service customers.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 30,000 households in Knox County do not have an internet connection. The study found KUB’s plan could come with benefits, like a boost to the local economy.

Possibilities include small firm growth, a 1.1 percent increase in the region’s gross domestic product and a reduction of an unemployed person’s job search time by roughly 25 percent.

The study also found residential internet plans would be offered at a lower monthly cost than current competitors with download and uploads speeds comparable or better to internet plans currently on the market.

KUB officials have acknowledged a possible 9 percent rate increase over a three-year stretch because of the proposal. That could translate to an increase of more than $10 a month on your utility bill. KUB has pledged to stabilize rates for the following seven years.

The KUB proposal was endorsed by the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors on Monday.

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