State’s Largest Electric Cooperative Partners with Local Internet Service Provider to Expand Broadband in Underserved Middle Tennessee Counties
Middle Tennessee Electric, the state’s largest electric cooperative, and United Communications, Middle Tennessee’s leading provider of fiber and fixed wireless internet services, today announced that they have partnered to expand broadband access to underserved areas across seven counties in Tennessee.
The partnership allows the two organizations to combine their resources and decades of experience to offer affordable, high-speed internet services to members and customers in the coming years and improve quality of life for those in the areas they serve.
The announcement was made by Chris Jones, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric, and William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications, in conjunction with Bob Rolfe, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner, at the Peytonsville Volunteer Fire Department on August 24th.
This initiative is already under way and full implementation will be a multi-year process. Based on input from the community, the partnership will prioritize implementation in areas with the highest demand. It allows both organizations to build a world-class smart grid in the region, at the lowest possible cost, while not impacting Middle Tennessee Electric members’ electric rates, which are some of the lowest in the country.
“We’re proud to be the first electric cooperative to pursue a partnership of this kind in Tennessee and answer the calls we have long heard from our members. They want and need access to broadband service,” said Chris Jones, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric. “United Communications is the ideal partner for us. They have already built an impressive fiber backbone throughout many areas we serve which will allow us to work together to more rapidly and cost effectively expand internet services.”
“We are grateful to Governor Haslam, our Tennessee legislature and the FCC for paving the way for local providers like Middle Tennessee Electric to meet the broadband access needs of our members,” Jones added.
“This partnership is about two local companies, who share common values, working together to provide a broadband solution for our area,” said William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications. “Ultimately, this will be great for economic development, support smart grid and smart home technologies, and improve quality of life in Middle Tennessee.”
The Peytonsville fire hall is in the center of an area that has requested broadband for more than 17 years and recently received gigabit speed fiber, which will enhance firehouse operations and improve mission critical communication systems, among other benefits.
“Our community relies on well-trained volunteers to provide superior emergency services. Reliable broadband access has allowed us to incorporate multimedia instruction into a well-rounded training program for our firefighters,” said Brian Jones, Peytonsville Volunteer Fire Department fire chief.
Middle Tennessee Electric members can register to receive updates on the expansion plan and determine if they are already in a United service area by visiting https://united.net/service-map-page/.
Additional information on the partnership can be found at www.United.net/mtemc.