US utility cooperative Middle Tennessee Electric has partnered with telecommunications firm United Communications to improve consumer access to broadband services.
The two will expand consumer access to affordable and high-speed broadband services to underserved areas across seven counties in Tennessee.
The partnership includes combining resources and expertise in the telecommunications and energy industries to improve consumer quality of life and to meet the growing demand for broadband services.
The collaboration will result in the development of smart home and smart grid services for the 225,000 members of Middle Tennessee Electric in Williamson, Wilson, Rutherford and Cannon counties, as well as reductions in energy tariffs.
Chris Jones, CEO of Middle Tennessee Electric, said: “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.
“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.”