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Customer Spotlight: Victor Lay

With nearly 30 years of experience as a city manager under his belt, Victor Lay knows what it takes to keep a community running smoothly. And as technology makes new resources available to municipalities of all sizes, he’s seen residents’ expectations evolve over time.

“When we had our snow event earlier this year, we were constantly posting in real time where our snow plows are located—what roads they had just completed, when they would be back, and all that information,” explained Lay. “And the residents expect that now. They want information and we are all about trying to get that information out to them.

In December 2020, Victor was officially appointed as city administrator for Nolensville, a once-sleepy town located just 20 miles southeast of Nashville in Williamson County. His transition took place at a time of historic growth, as Nolensville’s population nearly doubled between 2020 and 2021. Today, it’s home to just over 15,000 residents and projects a population of 28,000 within the next six years.

As the town’s popularity continues to grow, the community has prioritized sustained but measured growth by offering modern amenities while preserving its small-town charm. Fast, reliable fiber internet service has helped to accelerate that growth. 

“If you don’t have fiber in the community, then folks will look at that when they’re choosing your community,” said Lay. “Developers will look at that. Businesses will look at that. It’s a fundamental utility, just the same as electricity or water or sewer. People depend on it.”

“So, having a utility company like United that’s very committed to having robust, high-speed internet throughout the community—that’s an essential service and we’re very pleased to have them as a part of that,” he added.

In 2020, United Communications had already invested in expanding fiber internet service throughout Nolensville but was missing one key customer—the town itself, which was using outdated copper lines through a different provider for its internet connections. That changed shortly after Victor arrived.

“The real reason that we ultimately changed what we were doing is we were dissatisfied with our current phone service and felt like we really needed to upgrade our internet speed,” Lay explained. “The program that United brought back to us actually brought us one gig service on the internet side. And they put in a brand new phone system and new phones that work flawlessly with it for no more money than what we were paying already on the monthly fees with our old provider.”

Today, Victor and his staff rely on United’s fiber internet service to maintain vital, timely communications with one another and with the community at large. 

“Our community comes to our website to see the latest information, and we really want to try to keep it that way,” said Lay. “We put out daily packets of information for them from our communications officer about what’s going on. And I publish a weekly video about what’s happened in the last week that you need to know.”

Aside from community events and regular updates, his team is also able to relay critical information to residents and businesses to ensure their safety in the event of an emergency.

“If there’s an emergency, we utilize our communication techniques to send that information out as quickly as we can so that folks understand what’s occurring and how they might need to change their schedules because of it,” he remarked.

Victor enjoys working with a local company that employs residents from Middle Tennessee and shares his commitment to seeing communities like Nolensville thrive.

“What I found with United is that they really did care about our community just as much as we did,” he explained. “They wanted Nolensville—and when I was in Spring Hill, they wanted Spring Hill the same way—they really wanted those communities to be well served. They wanted to be a partner in the events that were going on. They were interested in quality of life issues—internet being one of those that brings quality of life. They have been a very good partner in the way that you would hope a local provider would.”

“Secondly—and just as important—because they’re local, their service is second to none,” said Lay. “The customer service is very good. And to me, that’s because they are part of the community. There’s a mutual understanding of you wanting everything to go as smoothly as possible. And so you’re going to work really hard to make sure that it does. And I find that in United.”