Chattanooga Announces 1 Gbps Tier

Chattanooga has announced a new level of service, offering 1Gbps to all subscribers in a unique citywide offering. Chattanooga previously led the nation with a 150Mbps tier. Today has been crazy, and lots is being written about this announcement, so I'll highlight stories and saving adding something interesting until later.

A quick reminder, we recently wrote about their insistence on taking fiber to everyone, rural and urban.

The New York Times started the Choo Choo coverage this morning:

Only Hong Kong and a few other cities in the world offer such lightning-fast service, and analysts say Chattanooga will be the first in the United States to do so. “This makes Chattanooga — a midsized city in the South — one of the leading cities in the world in its digital capabilities,” said Ron Littlefield, the city’s mayor.

Ars Technica offers additional perspective (as usual):

The city hopes this will give it a competitive advantage; on the new website promoting the service, the city's Electric Power Board pitches its country-leading broadband as "a test bed for next generation technology," as "the ultimate tool for entrepreneurs," and a place where "bandwidth is no problem." The consistent theme: you should move to Chattanooga.

(It also reminds us that Chattanooga is far beyond the FCC's timid goals in the National Broadband Plan.)

Giga Om has lost the lust for his still-respectable 100Mbps.

EPB says that their 100 Mbps service is now costing $140 a month and the 1 Gbps service will cost $350 a month.

Though Chattanooga has beat Google to the punch, this does little to change Google's goal of even cheaper 1Gbps with open access - the race is not simply to 1Gbps, it is to the future! Those who are putting Google down in some way are grasping for something to say about a stunningly unique offering. Sad to see Google put down in some way merely because they announced their big ambitions.

For those who wonder who could possibly use this service, Harold DePriest describes one:

Dr. James Busch is a local Chattanooga radiologist who currently uses Fi-Speed Internet service and is looking forward to speeds of up to 1 gig.  He says even at his current speeds, each radiologist has increased their work flow by 27 percent – equivalent to having three extra doctors on staff.  With 1 gig, who knows what advancements an office like Dr. Busch’s could make.

That Harold knows Dr. Busch is a good sign -- community fiber networks know their subscribers. I doubt Comcast's execs could find most of the communities they serve on a blank map.

Don't forget the smart-grid benefits,

And then there are the Smart Grid benefits.  By fall of 2012, all 170,000 homes and business within EPB’s service area will be connected to our 100% fiber optic Smart Grid.  This means a 40 percent reduction in customer outage minutes, increased electric power reliability and efficiency, and customer tools to manage energy needs, like an energy portal on your home computer or television. 

Finally,

According to the new ChattanoogaGig.com, Chattanooga is looking for Entrepreneurs:

We have built an expansive, powerful, 100% fiber network. But the power isn't in the platform. The real power is in how we use it. Our infrastructure spurs research and development of new technologies right here in the United States, and preserves American jobs.

This is the ultimate tool for entrepreneurs. For established companies looking to become game-changers. For anyone needing a system that can help test and prove ideas.

Instead of trying to guess what products and services the market will demand, we are inviting talented people to use our network to work on complex challenges.

Not one size fits all, but one platform for mass innovation, accelerated R&D, broad testing and deep creativity.

See our follow up post on Chattanooga here.