DailyTech – Chattanooga, TN to Get Nation’s Fastest Internet — 1 Gbps


EPB is delivering the nation’s fastest consumer internet connection by the end of the year — a 1 Gbps service.

Only a few cities worldwide — like Hong Kong — have 1 gbps connections.  (Source: TropicalIsland.de)

Small-scale socialized internet offerings have been trampling the rates and service of commercial competitors like Comcast. These competitors have responded by trying to outlaw municipal Wi-Fi.  (Source: Comcast)

Socialized municipal offering handily beats out local commercial competitors

Despite
the criticism of mild socialism — including government-owned
utilities — thus far commercial cable offerings in the U.S. have
fallen grossly short of successful municipal offerings. 
Services like the municipal effort of Wilson, N.C. have offered
faster, cheaper internet than commercial offerings.  Cable
companies have responded by pouring millions into lobbying local,
state, and federal governments to enact proposals to ban
municipal internet services
.  To date, they have seemed
unable to stamp out this pesky brand of community socialism.

Now
Chattanooga, Tennessee is preparing to launch a new municipal service
which will offer speeds up to an incredible 1 Gbps.  The
service, to be deployed by the end of the year, will be the fastest
household internet connection available in America today.

Ron
Littlefield, the city’s mayor, cheers, “This makes Chattanooga
— a midsized city in the South — one of the leading cities in the
world in its digital capabilities.”

The service will be
managed by city-owned utility EPB
It will join just a handful of consumer 1 Gbps offerings worldwide,
including the fastest connections in the city of Hong Kong. 
The service is almost 200 times faster than the average U.S.
broadband speed according to analysts.

There are some
downsides of the super-fast service.  One is the ability to
fully utilize the ultra-wide line.  While transmission speeds
are somewhat dependent on what speed the downstream party can receive
data at, they are also dependent on how fast upstream parties can
serve the data at.  So while you may be able to get a 25 GB
Blu-Ray movie in about three and a half minutes, in theory, few data
providers will be able to serve the movie that fast.

Another
obstacle is the price – a whopping $350 a month.  While the
city is also offering more affordable bundles that should beat the
rates of competitive commercial offerings, its top-tier option is
undeniably pricey.  At that rate it may appeal more to
businesses than the majority of individual buyers.

Comments
Harold DePriest, chief executive of EPB, “We don’t know how to
price a gig.  We’re experimenting. We’ll learn.”

The
new service will reach 170,000 homes and businesses in the area and
help add a bit more bang to citizens’ buck, in a region
that 

Forbes magazine already
rates
 as one of “America’s Best Bang-For-The-Buck
Cities.

If President Obama has his way, a national
socialized internet offering
 will also soon arrive. 
The President’s FCC appointees are pushing plans to cover 100 million
homes with 100 Mbps by 2020.  That connection would be one-tenth
the speed of Chattanooga’s. 

Despite the sluggish
performance
 of cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner,
some commercial players are also looking to deploy high-speed
offerings.  Google announced plans to cover up to 500,000
people with
1 Gbps internet
.  The service received 1,100 applications
from communities and Google will announce its pick(s) by the end of
the year.

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