United Communications announces $85M fiber internet investment in Murfreesboro
FRANKLIN, Tenn., Aug. 28, 2023 — United Communications today announced plans to invest another $85 million to expand its enterprise-ready fiber internet service to an additional 77,000 MTE members in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
A series of multi-year infrastructure projects will create 1,400 route miles of new fiber-optic lines capable of delivering multi-gig internet service to homes and businesses of all sizes.
A service of Middle Tennessee Electric, the Franklin-based telecom provider has already invested more than $30 million in Rutherford County. This investment includes a recently completed fiber project connecting 18,000 homes and businesses in neighboring Smyrna and connecting the Rutherford County Emergency Communications District which provides “next-gen” 911 technology. United also has a partnership with the Murfreesboro Housing Authority to provide free internet service to qualifying households in low-income communities.
Speaking at the Middle Tennessee Electric annual meeting on Saturday, United’s President and CEO William Bradford noted that the company’s approach to expansion in Murfreesboro reflects its mission of bridging the digital divide for everyone in Middle Tennessee.
“We’ve already completed phase one in the Boro, which includes our fiber backbone and service to more than 1,000 homes and businesses. As part of phase one, we also built fiber to the square in downtown Murfreesboro,” said Bradford. “It was a privilege to put our fiber infrastructure to work by connecting our neighbors in disadvantaged communities and adding resiliency to the local emergency communications network.”
Bradford cited cost-saving smart grid solutions, a rapidly expanding need among enterprise-level users for symmetrical upload and download speeds, and even the emergence of quantum networking — a technology that promises faster, more secure data transmission — as just a handful of reasons why investments in fiber will yield long-term benefits.
“We’re thrilled to announce this historic investment that will bring the same resilient, cutting-edge technology trusted by first responders to doorsteps and devices across the entire city,” Bradford added.
“MTE and United are trusted, local brands, and we are thrilled to hear of this level of investment in our city,” Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland said. “United establishing a presence and bringing jobs is welcome news, and it is good to see a local choice being added to our list of internet service providers for Murfreesboro. Having fast and reliable internet service is an absolute necessity for education, economic development, and quality of life.”
United Communications expects its additional $85M investment in Murfreesboro to bring approximately 150 new jobs to the area. In addition, United will be opening a new office location in Murfreesboro by the end of 2023.
“MTE and United continue to invest in the economic development of Murfreesboro,” said Chris Jones, CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric. “In fact, MTE recently acquired three buildings in Murfreesboro formerly occupied by Blackbox Network Services, which is where some of the 150 new United employees will be located. Additionally, the new fiber network United will build through the city will also enable electric smart grid, allowing the community to boast a power network technology very few cities in the world have.”
“I have seen the difference United and MTE have made since joining forces,” State Sen. Shane Reeves said, “as I have watched them bring fiber and high-speed internet to thousands of unserved and underserved citizens throughout my district. The city of Murfreesboro is fortunate to have this world-class, local provider coming to town to compete. I’m excited to hear this news.”
In addition to expansion in Murfreesboro, United continues its expansion in other areas throughout Middle Tennessee as part of its Project UNITE. In 2022, United was awarded $53.4 million in grant support from the Tennessee Emergency Broadband Fund — the largest single investment of its kind in state history — to expand fiber internet service in rural communities across Middle Tennessee. United remains committed to its fiber network expansion to enrich our communities and the lives of its neighbors.
More information about United Communications, including service availability information and discounts for qualifying customers through the Affordable Connectivity Program, can be found online at united.net.
About United Communications - Boiler Plate
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 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 received a 2023 Torch Award from the Better Business Bureau in recognition of its exceptional commitment to business ethics and integrity.
United operates more than 3,700 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.
About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE)
Founded in 1936, MTE is the largest electric cooperative in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States, serving more than 750,000 Tennesseans via 325,000+ accounts covering nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, La Vergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 520 people in six local offices and its Murfreesboro headquarters.
MTE’s subsidiary, United Communications, is a nationally recognized broadband company with a fiber network spanning more than 3,600 route miles, providing high-speed internet to portions of Williamson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin, Wilson and Davidson counties.