Murfreesboro, Tenn. – A vital TVA initiative is helping United Communications and Middle Tennessee Electric apply consumer data and innovative technologies to develop wireless infrastructure and energy education for residents at several Murfreesboro Housing Authority properties.
The goal of the Connected Communities initiative is to support the best technological means to deliver critical programs and services to the people and businesses who depend on them. This project will share more than $3 million in grant funding from TVA in 2022 and 2023.
The project will be executed by the following pilot team: SmartMark Communications will act as program manager and work with Middle TN Electric on the design of an educational program. United Communications will work to create additional wireless infrastructure at three of MHA’s properties as part of ongoing renovations, making broadband Wi-Fi available to residents of the Oakland I, Oakland II and Parkside communities. MTE and SmartMark Communications will develop a basic educational curriculum for residents about energy efficiency and energy use best practices.
MTE is the local electric cooperative and will provide strategic counsel on energy assistance and reduction programs and work with the team on energy analysis.
“Middle Tennessee Electric and its subsidiary, United Communications, are grateful to TVA for providing funding for this project,” said Brad Gibson, MTE’s Chief Cooperative Business Officer. “Access to quality internet is vital in today’s world, and we’re proud to be working on this impactful project for the Murfreesboro community with our partners.”
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The project was selected from more than 40 organizations that applied for funding during the initial call for pilots in late 2021. Each selected project supports at least one of three focus areas of the TVA Connected Communities initiative:
• Equitable Access to Services: Increase access to services through broadband, modern technology and the knowledge and empowerment to use it.
• Economic Empowerment: Economic security and the ability to contribute to a modern, 21st Century economy to the best of their ability.
• Energy & Environmental Justice: A healthy environment and reliable, affordable and clean energy.
Bonnie Latta, senior project lead of the TVA Connected Communities initiative, explained that her team is assisting community leaders to prepare for the future by helping them to develop strategies that leverage technology and data. “Connected Communities is all about helping local leaders create plans through local teams, which is important for creating enduring benefits for people and businesses,” said Latta. “We are pleased to help interested communities build a localized strategy and implement a plan. By working in partnership with Valley communities and local power companies, we are continuing to make TVA’s seven-state region the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family.”
To learn more about TVA’s Connected Communities initiative, including resources and tools for communities to implement their own Connected Communities initiatives, please visit www.tva.gov/
TVA’s Connected Communities pilot projects will be awarded funding after successful completion of required reviews. TVA contributes 70 percent of the project’s total costs, and pilot teams will contribute 30 percent. Work on the pilot projects is expected to begin this summer.