State’s Largest Electric Cooperative Partners with Local Internet Service Provider to Expand Broadband in Underserved Middle Tennessee Counties 

State’s Largest Electric Cooperative Partners with Local Internet Service Provider to Expand Broadband in Underserved Middle Tennessee Counties 

Nashville, Tenn. – August 24, 2018 – Middle Tennessee Electric, the state’s largest electric cooperative, and United Communications, Middle Tennessee’s leading provider of fiber and fixed wireless internet services, today announced that they have partnered to expand broadband access to underserved areas across seven counties in Tennessee. 

The partnership allows the two organizations to combine their resources and decades of experience to offer affordable, high-speed internet services to members and customers in the coming years and improve quality of life for those in the areas they serve. 

The announcement was made by Chris Jones, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric, and William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications, in conjunction with Bob Rolfe, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner, at the Peytonsville Volunteer Fire Department on August 24th. The fire hall is in the center of an area recently upgraded to gigabit speed fiber, which will enhance firehouse operations and improve mission critical communication systems, among other benefits.    

This initiative is already underway and full implementation will be a multi-year process. Based on input from the community, the partnership will prioritize implementation in areas with the highest demand. It allows both organizations to build a world-class, smart grid in the region at the lowest possible cost, while not impacting Middle Tennessee Electric members’ electric rates. 

“We’re proud to be the first electric cooperative to pursue a partnership of this kind in Tennessee and answer the calls we have long heard from our members. They want and need access to broadband service,” said Chris Jones, president and CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric.  “United Communications is the ideal partner for us. They have already built an impressive fiber backbone throughout many areas we serve which will allow us to work together to more rapidly and cost effectively expand internet services.”

“We are grateful to Governor Haslam, our Tennessee legislature and the FCC for paving the way for local providers like Middle Tennessee Electric to meet the broadband access needs of our members,” Jones added.  

“This partnership is about two local companies, who share common values, working together to provide a broadband solution for our area,” said William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications. “Ultimately, this will be great for economic development, support smart grid and smart home technologies, and improve quality of life in Middle Tennessee.” 

"Our community relies on well-trained volunteers to provide superior emergency services.  Reliable broadband access has allowed us to incorporate multimedia instruction into a well-rounded training program for our firefighters,” said Brian Jones, Peytonsville Volunteer Fire Department fire chief.

Middle Tennessee Electric members can register to receive updates on the expansion plan and determine if they are already in a United service area by visiting

Additional information on the partnership can be found at

About Middle Tennessee Electric 

Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative providing electricity to more than 220,000 residential and business members in Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford and Cannon counties. For more information, please visit

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 Communications network includes more than 1,000 route miles of fiber connecting in Nashville and Murfreesboro, and covering portions of Williamson, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin and Rutherford counties. To learn more, please visit


For United Communications 

Missy Michaels 


For Middle Tennessee Electric 

Brad Gibson