United Communications Partners to Connect Middle Tennessee

Posted: February 18, 2021

$5.2 million grant connects 1,621 to broadband

United Communications is partnering with Middle Tennessee Electric to expand broadband access to underserved residents throughout the region.

The push to connect the middle Tennessee region, known as Project UNITE, is driven by state and local grant funding, United’s own investments, and community partnerships. Funding Project UNITE’s most recent project was a $5.2 million grant from the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund, with an additional $1.3 million contributed by United Communications.

Project UNITE has connected 1,621 homes in portions of Bedford, Rutherford, Marshall, and Williamson counties. Since United began connecting customers, more than 650 have upgraded to fiber.

“I’m proud of the Project UNITE initiative because it’s our way of showing our neighbors that we’re committed to them and their well-being,” said United President and CEO William Bradford. “We genuinely care about Middle Tennesseans, and this project allows us to act on that, improving our local communities and creating opportunities for residents and businesses alike.”

Connecting underserved communities to life-changing fiber broadband has been a United Communications priority for years, but the ongoing health pandemic created an emergency situation for many residents who were suddenly asked to work or study from home. The partnership with Middle Tennessee Electric made Project UNITE possible.

“United’s Project UNITE serves as an ongoing commitment to advance internet connectivity to our underserved members — to make life better by delivering needed access to all the resources that high-speed internet provides,” said Chris Jones, president and chief executive officer at Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation.

Project UNITE made fiber available to 734 homes in Bedford and Rutherford counties, 640 homes in Marshall County, and 247 homes in Williamson County.

Bradford believes this is just the beginning.

“Partnerships are the foundation for Project UNITE. Through community and government support, we have been able to grow the initiative significantly, helping to provide internet access to thousands of locations in Middle Tennessee,” Bradford said. “We are forever grateful for the support we’ve received so far, and look forward to what’s ahead. It’s truly a special feeling to know that we are providing them with opportunities for education, jobs, health care and so much more.”

For more information, visit the Project UNITE Interest website.