United Communications and its partners at Middle Tennessee Electric on April 4 announced a $13 million infrastructure investment that will expand high-speed fiber internet service to 11,000 homes and businesses in Wilson County.
$3 million of the investment will be used to connect Mt. Juliet and Lebanon with every major data center in Middle Tennessee to benefit the region’s growing business community.
Additionally, $2.5 million of the investment includes federal and local grants made possible by partnerships in Wilson County.
According to the FCC, more than 4,400 residents in rural Wilson County lack access to any
broadband internet service that is considered fast and reliable enough to work, learn, and
stream on digital devices. Rural, unserved communities are being prioritized in the first phase of the expansion effort, which will be completed by the end of the year.
“The past few years have proved that fast, reliable internet service is an absolute necessity for every resident in Tennessee, regardless of where they live,” said William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications. “We’re proud to be part of this investment to help serve more families, students, and local businesses that help make Wilson County a wonderful community to call home.”
A map showing broadband expansion projects in Wilson County. Areas in green have been completed while areas in yellow are in progress. Orange areas are supported by grant funding. Image courtesy of United Communications.
The investment was announced during a public event held in Lebanon at Carroll-Oakland
Elementary School, which serves portions of Wilson County where expansion projects are in
progress. The school’s principal, Jason Dunn, shared a compelling testimony of the need for
broadband in the area and emphasized the pivotal impact it will have on learning experiences in Wilson County.
Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto and State Representative Clark Boyd spoke to the crowd of community members about the importance of investing in rural internet infrastructure.
“The champion is always going to be the one who has the best team at the end of the day.
That is really what was created here with United Communications and Middle Tennessee
Electric,” said Mayor Randall Hutto. “They have formed a great team and they think outside of the box. That is something that we desperately need for Wilson County.”
“A lot of people that live in more rural areas think that we have internet available anywhere. They wouldn’t believe that certain areas in Wilson County don’t have it,” said State Representative Clark Boyd. “We’re going to make sure that it comes and it’s because we have great partners like United Communications and Middle Tennessee Electric. I’m so proud and excited about what’s coming to this county.”
In September 2022, United Communications was awarded $53.4 million by the Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner to invest in rural broadband
infrastructure through the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund (TEBF-ARP).
United partnered with Middle Tennessee Electric and Duck River Electric to apply for the grant funding as part of Project UNITE, United’s initiative to expand broadband access to every home and business in Middle Tennessee.
With two office locations, Chapel Hill and Franklin, United is building upon an existing network of over 1,700 route miles of fiber backbone in Middle Tennessee to supply high-speed internet, the latest Wi-Fi technology, and both digital TV and phone service for residential customers and businesses across the region.
Wilson County residents can check to see if United Communications internet service is
available in their neighborhoods at https://united.net/service-map-page/.
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 is
recognized as a 2022 Top 100 Fiber-To-The-Home Leader, a Smart Rural Community Provider℠, a “Fastest Internet Service Provider” by BroadbandNow, and the winner of the 2021 Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award, which honors the most notable deployments of Fiber-to-the-Home in the U.S. and abroad. United operates approximately 1,700 route miles of fiber covering portions of Williamson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin, Wilson, and Davidson counties. United Communications is a service of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. To learn more, please visit united.net.