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United’s Commitment to Internet Connectivity & Community Development in Wilson County

By Greg Maes, Director of Planning and Engineering 

For the last 15 years, my family has called Wilson County home. My four children have grown up in Wilson County schools, and my oldest is graduating this year from Mount Juliet High School. A few years ago, we picked up and moved to North Carolina for a new opportunity, but soon realized our hearts remained in Wilson County. We moved back a short 12 months later and couldn’t be happier. Wilson County is one of Tennessee’s best and most diverse places to live. It’s seen enormous growth over the last decade. Still, like so many other communities in Middle Tennessee that are growing quickly, the area has managed to maintain its small-town vibe, with smiling faces and a welcoming soul.

As the Director of Planning and Engineering at United Communications, my role bridges the gap between the technical world of internet service provision and the tangible, everyday experiences of our customers in Wilson County and throughout Middle Tennessee. I consider it a unique privilege to steer United’s initiatives in my own backyard. 

Expanding Connectivity In Wilson County 

United Communications is working hard to keep up with the growth in Wilson County to ensure every resident and business owner has access to high-speed internet. Our current project footprint covers approximately 8,500 homes and businesses, a number we are proud to say will increase by around 11,000 by the end of 2024. Our approach, especially in rural areas, isn’t about taking the path of least resistance. Instead, we focus on serving the underserved, ensuring that those in the more remote parts of Wilson County have the same access to world-class internet as those in urban areas.

A Beacon of Connectivity

Over the past several years, we’ve shown a proven track record of success in securing grant funding to support broadband infrastructure projects. Recently, we partnered with leaders in Wilson County to develop and submit grant proposals that resulted in $13 million in funding. Our mission is also supported by government leaders like Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, who has joined us in prioritizing the needs of every Middle Tennessee resident.

We’re proud of our Project UNITE initiative, funded through grants from ReConnect, Enabling Middle Mile Broadband Infrastructure Program, and BEAD. Project UNITE has allowed us to expand our network while ensuring that expansion is thoughtful, inclusive, and tailored to meet the needs of every resident. 

Innovative Solutions with Stealth Fiber 

The concerns surrounding utility deployments in residential areas are not lost on us. Stories of disrupted yards, damaged utilities, and the overall invasiveness of traditional fiber installation techniques prompted us to think differently. Our Stealth Fiber technology places United fiber lines inside the same Smart Grid conduit used by Middle Tennessee Electric. With this innovative solution, virtually no additional excavation is needed. Our approach safeguards property and minimizes disruption by ensuring that our infrastructure works in harmony with the existing landscape. It also demonstrates our commitment to thoughtful and community-friendly expansion.

Continuing Our Commitment 

As a local company with deep roots in our community, all of us at United are committed to the long-term well-being of the areas we serve. We live here, we work here, and we’re here to stay, ensuring your internet experience is built to last.

It’s my privilege to work for a company that is so genuinely committed to bridging the digital divide and empowering underserved communities in Wilson County and all of Middle Tennessee. I’m excited to continue working with my neighbors and friends here in Wilson County to lay the groundwork for a future where every resident can thrive in our increasingly connected world.

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About the Author:

Greg Maes, Director of Planning and Engineering 

Greg Maes brings 20 years of experience in engineering and construction in the telecommunications industry to his role with United Communications. As Director of Planning and Engineering, Greg’s primary focus is to empower his team at United to work collaboratively toward the company’s long-term goals. His passion and commitment to doing the right thing for United’s customers and communities make a real impact on the company’s success. A University of Florida alumni, Greg says his family and faith keep him grounded and serve as his motivation for striving to be better each day.