Fiber Optic

UCHS CTE graduates first class of Fiber Optic Boot Camp

Student group holding certificates

Union County High School Fiber Optic Boot Camp graduates display their certificates with Mayor Jason Bailey.

State and local leaders came together on March 16 to congratulate the first graduating class of the Fiber Optic Boot Camp in Union County to be certified as fiber optics technicians in fiber optic installation.
The course was made possible through the Governor's Investment in Vocational Education, better known as the GIVE Grant.
Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter welcomed everyone and noted that for over four years, Union County Public Schools has been working to make sure that career and technical programs are offered that will help ensure jobs for our graduates.

Bridging the Digital Divide

Communities are keen to implement next generation fiber optic infrastructures, as they recognize such assets are crucial to economic development and growth strategies and are not merely an entertainment medium. Only about 25 percent of Tennesseans have access to fiber with rural areas lagging far behind, and that’s bad news for rural economies. Big Telecom has little interest in expanding to small towns and farmlands, as shareholders are out for a return on their investment; running fiber optic cable into rocky Appalachian soil isn't cheap.

The Digital Divide

The “digital divide” is the gap that exists between individuals advantaged by the internet and those individuals disadvantaged by lack of access to the internet. The divide has widened as technology has advanced with the advent of next generation fiber optic broadband that can make 1 GB broadband speeds available. The growing gap disproportionately affects rural areas as rural residents have few choices of internet service providers – or none at all. They pay higher prices for lower quality service.