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Project UNITE Customer Spotlight: Stacey Clayton

Internet access in rural areas has always been a necessity. That’s why United Communications has been working for years to improve connectivity in rural areas of Middle Tennessee. However, though internet access has been improving slowly over time, the COVID-19 pandemic quickly increased the severity of the situation. Suddenly, families were home together, working remotely, and it was painfully apparent for many that their current connection was no longer meeting their daily needs.

Project UNITE is working to change that. By installing fiber in many rural areas of Middle Tennessee, we are working to leverage funding to improve broadband infrastructure and give these residents the connection they need to thrive at home. Stacey Clayton and her family are a great example of the rural residents we’re working to help.

The Clayton Family’s Challenge

Stacey Clayton and her husband built their house in rural Middle Tennessee in 2006. As her husband has always needed internet access at home due to the nature of his job, connectivity has been essential for their family from the beginning; however, the pandemic increased their need for receiving a stronger, faster, and more reliable, connection.

Stacey, who works for a large insurance company, began working from home in March 2020 when the pandemic began to spread. Her son was also spending more time at home, using the internet sparingly. This put her family in a difficult position, as they were relying on a DSL and data from their Verizon cell phone plan. All three family members were in need of internet access for a variety of different tasks. Though this worked for them when Stacey was going into the office, now, if her family was going to keep up with their growing work demands, something would have to change.

Stacey’s company programs weren’t functioning properly, though she wasn’t sure if the issue might be with the program or her connection. She wasn’t able to download the files she needed, going as far as to email the files to her coworkers so that they could upload them for her, instead of downloading them to her computer. “I just wanted it to work,” said Stacey.

Project UNITE’s Solution

Now, Stacey and her family have the power to do anything they need to with their home internet. Project UNITE’s fiber buildout project, funded by United Communications and the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund, brought Stacey and her family the internet connection they needed in December of 2020.

The day after Christmas, United technicians were at her house installing fiber. We are elated to have heard from Stacey who reported that all of her issues have now been resolved thanks to her fiber internet. Her family hasn’t had another issue while working, streaming, or connecting to anything they might need since the installation. Fiber improves lives, and that’s why United Communications is so passionate about providing access to Middle Tennessee residents.

To see if fiber is available in your area, or to learn more about Project UNITE, please call us at