DREMC and Project UNITE Partner to Expand Broadband Access | Local News

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Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, an electric provider serving 2,500 square miles in Middle Tennessee, and United Communications, Middle Tennessee’s leading fiber optic and fixed wireless Internet service provider, recently announced that they are collaborating to expand broadband access to underserved areas of southern Tennessee.

Industry data indicates that while average household demand for internet data has increased more than 38 times over the past decade, approximately 18% of Tennessee residents live in areas not served by high-speed internet. .

Lack of broadband infrastructure in rural areas has led to a digital divide, subjecting those without high-speed internet access to a significant disadvantage in career development, telemedicine and engagement opportunities social.

DREMC has strengthened its commitment to the members it serves by advancing high-speed Internet connectivity.

Through the development of a robust fiber backbone that improves service reliability, DREMC not only provides safe and reliable electricity at the lowest possible cost, but also helps United build a reliable fiber and fixed wireless network in the region.

United is a subsidiary of Middle Tennessee Electric and this partnership supports efforts to bring high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of Middle Tennessee, the mission of United’s Project UNITE initiative. By working together to bridge the digital divide, United, MTE and now DREMC can accelerate the delivery of high-speed internet to areas that need it.

Specific to DREMC, the relationship solidifies broadband expansion, especially for many communities that lack adequate internet access.

Project UNITE was launched by United to focus on rural communities to connect unserved homes and businesses, partner with local stakeholders, businesses and governments seeking grants, and offer cutting-edge customer experiences.

The announcement was made by William Bradford, President and CEO of United Communications, together with Chris Jones, President and CEO of MTE, at Columbia’s DREMC office on Friday.

“DREMC is proud to be part of the solution to the Internet needs of members in underserved areas. The first leg of this journey began in 2018 with the initial work needed to develop a 386-mile fiber backbone that allows DREMC to better serve members and provide important infrastructure that established Internet providers can use,” said Scott Spence, President and CEO of DREMC. .

The South Tennessee network construction effort is greatly bolstered by DREMC’s foresight and proactivity in establishing a fiber ring throughout their service area, which is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

United’s fiber and fixed wireless expertise, combined with DREMC’s assets and licenses, provides an effective and efficient way to enter the next phase of delivering world-class broadband and smart grid. .

As planning develops, DREMC members will be able to check if their address is usable by United and register their interest by visiting united.net.

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