TN ECD Grant FAQs | United Communications

TN ECD Grants

Frequently Asked Questions

United Communications Awarded $53.4M Grant to Expand Broadband Access in Williamson, Giles, Bedford, Maury, Lincoln, Moore, Franklin and Marshall Counties

Grant award and supplemental funding will bring high-speed internet to an estimated 13,842 new locations, including homes and small businesses

1. What counties will be served from this grant allocation?

Broadband expansions and/or upgrades are planned in portions of the following counties in Middle Tennessee totaling 13,842 locations:

Bedford County – 3,213 locations

Franklin & Marshall Counties – 1,082 locations

Giles County – 1,859 locations

Lincoln & Moore Counties – 504 locations

Maury County – 3,978 locations

Williamson County – 3,206 locations

2. When will broadband be available at my home or business?

United is already providing services to much of the Middle Tennessee area.  However, these expansions are expected to be completed as noted below. More detailed timelines will be provided in the coming months.

Bedford, Lincoln & Moore, Marshall & Franklin – 2023

Giles, Maury, Williamson – 2023-2024

To see if you are serviceable or coming soon, check https://fiber.united.net/ . If service is not yet available in your area, you may register to express interest in broadband and request updates on future expansion plans. New broadband expansion areas will be prioritized based on community input, site registrations and other engineering factors.

3. How can I request broadband service for my home or business?

You can check your address and register at https://fiber.united.net/ . Your registration allows us to track interest in your area and build out new broadband services based on demand. If you can’t find your address, please submit a request to have your address reviewed by our team at united@united.net.

If you would like to chat with a representative, please click “Chat Now” on our website and the next available agent will start the conversation.

4. Will broadband services be deployed to all DREMC and MTE members?

We are working diligently to identify service areas where new infrastructure can be deployed over the next couple of years.  However, the full project scope and implementation will be a multi-year process.  If you want to know how we bring fiber to your home, click HERE.

5. What is broadband and why is it important?

Broadband is, quite simply, high-speed internet access. Broadband can be delivered over multiple technologies, including fiber, cable and fixed wireless. The official Federal Communications Commission (FCC) definition of broadband is a minimum of 25 Mbps (megabits per second) download and 3 Mbps upload. High-speed internet has revolutionized how we use technology in our homes and businesses, from being able to work from home, learn remotely or utilize telehealth. Faster speeds mean more possibilities for our residents, local businesses and communities.

6. Why is fiber better than cable or satellite?

Fiber internet is considered future-proof; it is the easiest to improve capacity, primarily a matter of changing electronics rather than rebuilding new connections; is more scalable in bandwidth – this is the advantage of fiber over cable or satellite services. Fiber is better for delivering the fastest speeds especially for upload bandwidth and is less prone to high-traffic slowdowns as compared to cable.

Upload speed is used for video calls, photo sharing, uploading large files when working from home, and is critical for gaming. The average home has 10+ connected devices and some estimates are triple that in five years; average household consumption is projected at 600 – 650 Gigabytes and growing – fiber can meet this demand and more.

7. What internet speeds does United offer?

United currently offers a range of internet speeds up to 1 Gbps (1 Gig) to residential customers, and in some areas we even offer 2 Gig. Check https://united.net/services/internet/ for more information. For business customers, United will customize a product package that fits your needs as well as scalable for future growth.

8. Does United offer Business internet services?

Yes. United offers customized business Internet solutions to fit the needs of any size business with speeds of up to 10 Gbps for Small to Midsized Businesses and higher speeds for Enterprise-level companies. For information on our business offerings, please visit https://united.net/business/ or https://united.net/enterprise/.

9. What can I expect to pay for broadband and is there a charge for data usage?

United has fiber internet plans starting at $69.95/month and all United’s residential Internet plans include unlimited data usage. Stream all you want, with no unexpected overages each month. In addition, United does not require a contract for residential customers – we’re that sure of your satisfaction.

10. Why are local governments and local utilities partnering with United?

It’s a great opportunity for local governments and local utilities to support their members and enhance the quality of life for local residents and businesses. Improving connectivity to high-speed internet offers new opportunities for learning, working from home, telehealth, expanded information and entertainment as well as critical economic development.

Partnerships with Middle Tennessee Electric, Duck River Electric and local governments highlighted the common mission to expand high-speed internet in unserved areas. From infrastructure utilization to financial investment, partnerships like these are crucial to making the fiber build-out a feasible endeavor. United is appreciative that the State recognizes the strength and commitment of these partnerships.

11. Can local utilities deliver broadband over its existing power lines?

No.  However, strong partnerships with local utilities allows United Communications to utilize the existing infrastructure and poles to attach broadband lines for serviceability within the MTE and DREMC service areas. 

12. How can local governments help?

United can accomplish more with government engagement and support. When local government and community stakeholders take a leadership position and have plans in place to support or assist with bringing grant funding to Middle Tennessee, we all win. It is our goal to have local communities excel and benefit from economic development that internet services provide. 

For this specific Tennessee Dept. of Economic and Community Development grant, local governments within the grant areas committed supplemental funding for expansion in their respective counties.

13. Where can I learn more about Project UNITE?

United is committed to the Project UNITE initiative to CONNECT unserved communities with fast, reliable internet, PARTNER with local stakeholders, companies and local governments to seek state and federal funding for their communities, and SERVE our customers with friendly, responsive service. United was recently nationally awarded the Cornerstone Award for our focus on connecting rural communities.

Project UNITE was launched with the goal of providing high-speed internet to every unserved home or business in Middle Tennessee.  Learn more about Project UNITE at https://united.net/project-unite/ .