United Communications

Broadband provider United Communications and majority owner Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE) are partnering to expand the scope of a major fiber buildout that they undertook last year.

They are expanding a fiber build in Williamson County, Tennessee. Construction in that county was initially designed to reach 2,800 addresses but the new target is 8,000 locations.

United Communications can trace its roots back 75 years to when it was founded as a rural telephone company. In 2018, MTE bought a majority share in the company.

Funding for the initial stage of the Williamson County project came through Project UNITE, an initiative consisting of United, MTE and Duck River Electric Membership Corporation. Project UNITE secured $14 million in infrastructure grants for Williamson County through the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund in late 2022, as part of a $53.4 million multi-county award. United and the Williamson County Commission added $6 million in supplemental funding for the initial build in the county.

The new build will be funded by United.

“These are neighborhoods that just missed the cut for grant eligibility in 2022 but have remained largely ignored by large internet providers,” United Communications President and CEO William Bradford said in a prepared statement. “Thanks to our close partnership with Mayor Anderson, Middle Tennessee Electric, and our county commissioners, United has an opportunity to finish what we’ve started in Williamson County.”

Service will start to some subscriber in May of this year, and installations will continue through 2025. The company plans to eventually reach 26,000 homes and businesses in Williamson County by early 2025.

United provides Internet and phone services to residential customers and businesses in middle Tennessee. It has more than 3,700 route miles of fiber and is active in Bedford, Davidson, Franklin, Marshall, Maury, Rutherford, and Wilson counties in addition to Williamson County.

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