Chattanooga 1 Gbps MuniBroadband

Chattanooga has become the first city in the country to offer 1Gbps service to its residents. They have been working on the project for a year and received stimulus money to help with the project build out.

From the site: “Chattanooga’s community-owned electric utility EPB is installing a 100% fiber to the premises network. Built to run America’s first true Smart Grid and offer residential high speed Internet, video and telephone services, the network was also built to empower our community in new ways.

Because bandwidth is no problem, Chattanooga’s Fiber Optic network enables upload and download speeds 200 times faster than the current national average, and 10 times faster than the FCC’s National Broadband Plan (a decade ahead of schedule).”

In the 2003-2006 time frame MuniWifi was seen as a way for cities to enhance their image and create a new revenue stream by offering wireless access.  For reasons technical and structural MuniWifi died a horrible death.  This time its different!

This time there are more players at the table, namely the utilities companies, who are now hot on smart grid technology and government stimulus money. There is new spectrum and new wireless equipment that greatly increase the range and capacity of radio towers and a host of new data enabled mobile devices.

So this may be the right time for cities to start thinking about building out their own broadband infrastructure instead of just giving it away to a for profit company.

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