Murfreesboro Housing Authority launches new program providing residents with free internet access and energy training for up to three years

Murfreesboro Housing Authority launches new program providing residents with free internet access and energy training for up to three years

Launch of the connected communities pilot project funded by TVA this month

MURFRESBORO, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Murfreesboro Housing Authority (MHA), in cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), United Communications and SmartMark Communications, today announced that its residents will now be eligible for free Internet service up to three years thanks to a subsidy from TVA’s Connected Communities program. The infrastructure has been built over the past few months and customers will have access to the service starting this month.

MHA received a Connected Communities grant from TVA last year to install fiber in three communities currently undergoing revitalization: Oakland Court I, Oakland Court II and Parkside. Phase I of a multi-phase grant provides residents with free internet access and energy education programs designed to help reduce monthly bills. Later phases will include the introduction of smart technology and other energy-saving opportunities in partnership with Middle Tennessee Electric, United’s parent company.

TVA’s Connected Communities initiative supports TVA’s energy system of the future and plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. By expanding access to technology, TVA is investing in job creation, preparing to a modern grid system to further support clean energy resources and opens up more opportunities to connect with the community.

“MHA is honored to have received this grant from TVA and to have the opportunity to offer free connectivity to our residents,” said Thomas Rowe, CEO of MHA. “Internet access has become a necessity in our daily lives, and we are delighted that this program not only helps raise awareness of energy efficiency and costs, but opens up new possibilities and access for residents.”

“Affordable housing has many benefits for residents with limited income, but the cost of technology, such as internet access, can be onerous,” said Georgia Caruthers, senior program manager of the TVA Connected Communities initiative. . “By supporting the Murfreesboro Housing Authority’s efforts to help residents enjoy a better quality of life, we are helping to fulfill TVA’s service mission to improve lives through free Wi-Fi connectivity that provides easy access to online information and services, and the ability for residents to benefit from their “smart home ready” residences with the potential to reduce their energy bills. »

In addition to providing free Internet service, United Communications actively contributed to the project with additional funding that enabled full fiber-to-the-home deployment in all three communities.

“United Communications is honored to provide reliable high-speed Internet access to low-income residents of Middle Tennessee while supporting an important energy education program in partnership with MTE, TVA, MHA and SmartMark,” said William Bradford, president and CEO of United Communications. . “This is particularly significant as our mission is to bring essential internet connectivity to meet a variety of needs, including childrearing, adult online training and education, and working from home, to meet to their most basic needs. We are happy that together we can achieve this goal.

SmartMark Communications is the program managing the project and providing the energy education and customer engagement components of the pilot.

Learn more at

About MHA connection

Connecting MHA is a program supported by the Connected Communities TVA Grant Program that provides free internet access and smart technologies as well as energy education and automated savings opportunities to residents of the communities of Oakland Court I, Oakland Court II and Parkside to the Murfreesboro Housing Authority. Phase I offers three full years of free Internet service in exchange for participation in a quarterly energy saving education program. This program is supported by United Communications, Middle Tennessee Electric, SmartMark Communications and ACE IoT.

About Murfreesboro Housing Authority

The mission of the Murfreesboro Housing Authority is to provide decent, safe, and healthy housing in good repair to eligible families in a manner that promotes maintainability, economy, efficiency, and development stability; and to use all available resources to maximize social and economic opportunities for all residents. Learn more at

About VAT

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a United States commercial agency that supplies electricity to commercial customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding and derives virtually all of its revenue from the sale of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electrical system, TVA provides flood control, navigation, and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state governments. States and locals in economic development and job creation.

About United Communications

United Communications is a leading provider of Internet, digital television and telephone services for businesses and residential customers in Central Tennessee. United is Recognized as a Smart Rural Community ProviderSM, one of BroadbandNow’s Top “Fastest Internet Service Providers” and the winner of the 2021 Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award, which recognizes the most outstanding fiber-to-the-home deployments in the United States and ‘foreign. United operates approximately 1,700 miles of fiber route covering parts of Williamson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin, Wilson and Davidson counties. United Communications is a service of Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation. To learn more, visit

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 Tennessee residents through more than 325,000 accounts spanning nearly of 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford. , Canon, Williamson and Wilson. Municipalities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, La Vergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 520 people in seven local offices and its head office in Murfreesboro.

MTE’s subsidiary, United Communications, is a nationally recognized broadband company with a fiber optic network spanning over 1,200 road miles providing high-speed Internet access and other services to parts of the counties of Williamson, Rutherford, Marshall, Bedford, Franklin and Davidson.

About SmartMark Communications

For more than two decades, SmartMark Communications has helped shape the customer experience by developing education and engagement strategies that drive technology adoption and lasting behavior change. A leader in energy innovation and the evolution of the smart grid, SmartMark works with energy companies, stakeholders and policy makers to design and implement customer-centric programs that validate investments and drive growth. transformation. Learn more at


Meredith Ponce

SmartMark Communications

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