United Communications Awarded $2.1 Million Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund to Upgrade Broadband Access to 756 Homes in Bedford, Rutherford Counties
Shelbyville, Tenn., August 27, 2020 – United Communications is excited to announce its commitment to bring fiber internet services to areas of Bedford and Rutherford counties that have lower than 25 Mbps bandwidth by the end of 2020. This is, in part, made possible by the awarding of $5.2 million in grant funding from the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund, the $2.1 million of which is designated for portions of these two counties. In addition, United Communications will invest more than $535,000 of its own funding for the fiber buildout in these areas.
Funded by Tennessee’s portion of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), this grant will accelerate United Communication’s Middle Tennessee Connectivity Initiative—a long-term mission to connect rural, historically underserved areas with high-speed internet. This timely and crucial expansion will bring fiber internet access to 756 homes in Bedford and Rutherford counties, ensuring that more Middle Tennessee residents have the internet connection they need to work, learn, and thrive during the COVID-19 pandemic and for years to come.
United Communications is proud to have built a community initiative that continually works to connect areas with better bandwidth access. Currently, they service over 13,000 internet customers, many of which are in areas that would otherwise not have access to broadband. Now thanks to grant funding, United will work to improve connectivity in Bedford and Rutherford counties, as well as Marshall and Williamson county zones by the end of 2020.
To commemorate this step forward, United Communications will celebrate the expansion with local officials at the Bedford County Courthouse on August 27th at 9:00 a.m. The event will be streamed live on social media for area residents to join in the celebration.
“With United’s investment and the CARES Act grant, we are excited to offer fiber internet access to 756 homes in several underserved areas of Bedford and southern Rutherford counties,” stated William Bradford, President and CEO of United Communications. “Our mission is to deliver fiber internet throughout Middle Tennessee to improve opportunities to enjoy faster internet speeds while working, studying, or streaming at home. Without the support of Mayor Graham, Commissioners Greg Vick and Tony Smith, State Senator Shane Reeves, and State Representative Pat Marsh, these projects would have never happened. This is a great example of local business and county leaders working together to make an impact on their community.”
“As someone who grew up in Bedford County, it is gratifying to bring broadband to so many people in this community at a time when they need it the most,” said Josh Lynch, Chief Customer Officer of United. “The county leadership has been a huge advocate for getting broadband to underserved areas, and these projects will make a significant dent in tackling this issue. We look forward to additional expansions soon.”
United Communications’ passion for connecting these rural areas is rooted in the understanding that internet access is as necessary now as everyday utilities. Without connectivity, residents are highly restricted in basic areas of their lives, such as work, school, and medical visits.
Since 1947, United has built a reputation on quality communication services in Middle Tennessee and is one of the first companies in this region to introduce a fiber-to-the-home network. Headquartered in Chapel Hill, Tennessee, United offers residential and business services, including internet, phone, and digital TV. Learn more about United Communications and its Middle Tennessee Connectivity Initiative by visiting united.net/about.
About United Communications
United Communications is a leading provider of internet, digital TV, and phone services to enterprise-class businesses and residential customers in Middle Tennessee. United has been recognized as the 2020 Fastest Average Speed provider by BroadbandNow and includes approximately 1,000 route miles of fiber connecting in Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Smyrna and covering portions of Williamson, Davidson, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin, and Rutherford counties. United Communications is a subsidiary of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. To learn more, please visit united.net.
About Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Founded in 1936, Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is the largest electric co-op in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States, serving more than 600,000 Tennesseans via 305,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson, and Wilson. For more information, please visit mtemc.com.