Murfreesboro Housing Authority Launches New Program for Residents to Receive Free Internet Access and Energy Education for Up to Three Years

MURFREESBORO, Tennessee–(BUSINESS WIRE). through TVA’s Connected Communities program. The infrastructure has been set up over the last 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 future energy system and plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. By expanding access to technology, TVA invests in job creation, prepares a modern grid system to further support clean energy resources, and opens more opportunities to connect with the community.

MHA is honored to receive this grant from TVA and the opportunity to provide free connectivity to our residents,” said Thomas Rowe, CEO of MHA. “Internet access has become a necessity in our daily lives and we are excited that this program will not only help raise awareness about energy efficiency and costs, but will open up new opportunities and access for residents.”

Affordable housing has many benefits for limited-income residents, but the cost of technology, like Internet access, can be a burden,” said Georgia Caruthers, senior program manager for the TVA Connected Communities initiative. “By supporting the Murfreesboro Housing Authority’s efforts to help residents have a better quality of life, we help fulfill TVA’s mission to improve lives through free Wi-Fi connectivity that provides easy access to information and Online services allow residents to benefit from their ‘smart home-enabled’ apartments with the potential to reduce their energy bills.”

In addition to offering free internet service, United Communications actively contributed to the project by providing additional funding that enabled full deployment of fiber to the home.

United Communications is honored to bring reliable, high-speed internet 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 especially significant as our mission is to provide an essential internet connection to support a variety of needs including children’s education, adult online training and education, and working from home to meet their most basic to meet needs. We are pleased that we can achieve this goal together.”

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

Learn more at

Information on connecting MHA

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

About the Murfreesboro Housing Authority

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

About TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a United States corporate agency that provides electricity to business customers and local electric utilities, serving nearly 10 million people in portions of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer money and derives virtually all of its income from the sale of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its earnings in its electrical system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local energy companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

About United Communications

United Communications is a leading provider of Internet, digital television and telephone services to enterprise-class businesses and consumers in Middle Tennessee. United is recognized as a Smart Rural Community ProviderSM, a top “Fastest Internet Service Provider” by BroadbandNow and winner of the 2021 Broadband Communities Cornerstone Award, which recognizes the most notable implementations of fiber-to-the-home in the United States and abroad. United operates approximately 1,700 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

About Middle Tennessee Electric (MTE)

Founded in 1936, MTE is the largest electrical cooperative in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) region and the second largest in the United States. It serves more than 750,000 Tennessee residents through more than 325,000 accounts spanning nearly 2,200 square miles in 11 Middle Tennessee counties, primarily Rutherford, Cannon, Williamson, and Wilson. Communities served include Murfreesboro, Franklin, Brentwood, Smyrna, La Vergne, Lebanon and Mt. Juliet. MTE employs 520 people across seven local offices and its headquarters in Murfreesboro.

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

Via SmartMark communication

For more than two decades, SmartMark Communications has helped shape the customer experience by developing training and engagement strategies that drive technology adoption and sustainable behavior change. As a leader in energy innovation and smart grid development, SmartMark works with energy companies, stakeholders and policymakers to design and implement customer-centric programs that validate investments and drive transformation. Learn more at