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Mark Patterson of HTC elected President of TTA

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Mark Patterson, CEO of Highland Telephone Cooperative, talks with COO Jared Carson and Director Mickey Bingham at the TTA annual meeting in Cool Springs.


Mark Patterson, General Manager and CEO of Highland Telephone Cooperative, has been elected President of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association’s Board.
TTA represents 21 companies and cooperatives that provide broadband service to many rural areas of the state. They held their annual meeting earlier this month in Cool Springs.
“I am honored to help lead the companies and coops of TTA as we work to make high-speed broadband and fiber available to every part of the state,” Patterson said.
“We are making tremendous strides in getting rural Tennessee connected. TTA members have installed a total of more than 21,000 miles of fiber in rural areas across the state.”
Under Patterson’s leadership, Highland has replaced its copper network with an all-new fiber optic network. Because of the new system, the cooperative is able to deliver gigabit broadband speeds (100 times faster than most residential Internet service) to the people of Morgan and Scott counties in Tennessee and McCreary County, Kentucky.
Patterson and other TTA members at last week’s annual meeting heard from federal and state officials about how critical broadband is to the communities of rural Tennessee.
“Companies are finding something special about our rural communities,” Bob Rolfe, State Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, told attendees. “Tyson Chicken created 150 jobs and invested $80 million in rural Dyersberg. In Union City, they invested $80 million and created 300 new jobs.
“When companies want to locate in rural Tennessee, when they want to expand facilities already here, we must be able to tell them that broadband is available.” Jim Tracy, who represents the USDA in Tennessee, stressed Washington’s commitment to supporting rural broadband expansion.
TTA members include independent and cooperatively owned telecom companies that provide high-speed broadband or fiber service to more than 136,000 customers in rural Tennessee. They have installed more than 21,000 miles of fiber in rural areas across the state, and by 2019, they will have spent more than $243 million to connect rural Tennesseans with gig-speed fiber – the fastest Internet available.
TTA has been connecting rural Tennesseans for 70 years. Today, the 21 members of TTA are THE experts in Tennessee rural broadband.

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