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Project UNITE: Connecting More Middle Tennesseans to The Good Life in 2024

By William Bradford, President and CEO of United Communications

2023 was undeniably a remarkable chapter for Project UNITE. The year began with the jubilant celebration of a $53.4 million ECD grant, propelling our broadband expansion alongside Governor Bill Lee and local leaders. By year’s end, we were able to celebrate the stories of impact from Project UNITE as we reached the milestone of connecting over 20,000 locations through the initiative.

As we enter a new year, I couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead. Project UNITE remains one of our most important priorities so that more Middle Tennesseans can experience “the good life.” Whether we’re empowering a rural family with vital telehealth access or enabling a small business to thrive through high-speed internet connectivity, we want to do everything we can to create more opportunities for our neighbors and friends. That being said, I wanted to share a few reasons why 2024 will be our biggest year yet:

1. We’re setting an ambitious goal of reaching more communities in 2024.

As I mentioned earlier, Project UNITE has helped us serve more than 20,000 residents and businesses since its inception in 2020. This year, we’re aiming for an astonishing 12,000—our single-year deployment record! To achieve this, United Communications will be investing $15 million of its funds alongside the grants we’ve received. We’re already hard at work in Bedford, Davidson, Franklin, Marshall, Maury, Rutherford, Williamson, and Wilson counties, laying the groundwork for connectivity that bridges the digital divide. This ambitious goal wouldn’t be possible without the hard work and dedication of our entire team—from our finance and administration departments to the engineers and technicians out in the field. 

2. We’re committed to building a network that supports our communities for decades to come.

Creating networks is one thing, but creating a reliable, world-class network is what makes Project UNITE truly transformative. Success for us isn’t just about providing internet; it’s about delivering it with unparalleled reliability and accompanying it with exceptional customer service. Moreover, as a local company with deep roots in our community, we’re 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.

3. We’re proactively pursuing grants to further enhance our support for Middle Tennesseans.

Grants have been instrumental in our expansion endeavors. I’m proud of the way our team proactively identifies and pursues grant funding opportunities, turning them into tangible progress for our communities. This approach, combined with a collaborative spirit, ensures we make it a priority to tap into available funds. We’re hoping to secure significant grant funding in 2024 in order to further support the communities we serve AND meet our exciting goal of ensuring every Middle TN Electric member who lacks broadband access will receive it by the end of 2025.

4. We will continue to leverage strategic partnerships and internal investments for greater impact.

United Communications isn’t alone in this mission to bridge the digital divide. Our close collaboration with Middle Tennessee Electric and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) provides invaluable support and access to existing infrastructure. This synergy allows us to reach more communities faster, maximizing the impact of Project UNITE. By combining our internal investments with strategic partnerships and grants, we’re able to accelerate our efforts for a more connected Middle Tennessee. 

Be a Part of Project UNITE

I’m filled with anticipation and hope for the thousands of lives that will be impacted by Project UNITE in 2024. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s that everyone plays an important role in bridging the digital divide in Middle Tennessee.

If you need reliable internet, or if you’re a leader eager to bring the power of connectivity to your community, join us! Visit our website, learn more about Project UNITE, and become a part of something bigger than yourself. Together, we can bring Middle Tennessee into a future where internet access empowers every individual, every family, every business, and every community.

About the Author:

William Bradford, President and CEO of United Communications

William Bradford is the co-founder, president, and CEO of United Communications, a local internet and telecommunications provider to more than 32,000 residential and business customers in Middle Tennessee. With over 20 years of executive experience in telecommunications management, William has helped United earn a reputation for offering world-class connections with a commitment to exceptional customer service. 

The company has received national recognition as one of Broadband Now’s “Fastest Internet Service Provider” and was the winner of the 2021 Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award. United’s commitment to its customers has helped it obtain an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 83. In 2023, United received the BBB Torch Award for Ethics, ​​the gold standard for integrity and transparency for businesses nationwide. William’s passion for bridging the digital divide in rural communities led to Project UNITE, an initiative to provide fast, reliable broadband service to every under-connected home or business in the Tennessee mid-state region. 

William was recently recognized on the Nashville Post’s In Charge List as one of the most influential local technology leaders. He is the past president of the Tennessee Telecommunications Association and is actively involved in many industry trade groups. William graduated with honors from Wake Forest University with a degree in Mathematical Economics. He and his family live in Brentwood, Tennessee.