Chattanooga boosts citywide broadband capacity to 10 gigabits

Chattanooga boosts citywide broadband capacity to 10 gigabits

Ultra-high-speed broadband available to all 170,000 customers for $299 per month

October 15th, 2015 by Dave Flessner in Local Regional News

POLL: Are you interested in 10-gigabit Internet service?

Harold dePriest, president/CEO of EPB, announces during a news conference that residents of the Tennessee Valley will have the opportunity to have the world's fastest home 10-gig internet service.

Harold dePriest, president/CEO of EPB, announces during a...

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Two men man the EPB Fiber Optic control room.

Two men man the EPB Fiber Optic control...

Photo by Tim Barber /Times Free Press.

Fiber optic cables

Fiber optic cables

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Chattanooga's EPB, which created America's first "Gig city" five years ago with its citywide gigabit (1,000 Mbps) Internet service, is taking ultra-fast broadband connections to an even higher level with the addition of 10 Gig service throughout Chattanooga.

The city-owned utility announced today that it is now offering 10 gigabit broadband to any of EPB's 170,000 customers. The 10 Gig service will be offered to any residential customer for $299 per month, compared with the $69.99 for EPB's current single gig service.

Chattanooga appears to be the third city to offer such a service, but it is by far the largest. Vermont Telephone offered 10-gig service to its 18,000 customers in Springfield, Vermont in June 2015, and Salisbury, North Carolina offered to service to its 33,000 customers in North Carolina in September. 

EPB and city leaders are announcing the new service today during Chattanooga's Startup Week, which is trying to capitalize on Chattanooga's faster broadband connections to attract and nurture more tech startup businesses.

EPB's announcement comes three months after Comcast Corp., sought to race past EPB's single gig service with its new Gigabit Pro service in Chattanooga and others cities, promising in May to deliver broadband speeds of 2 gigabits per second.

Comcast's 2 Gig service, called Gigabit Pro, is being offered initially for $159 a month, or just over half the usual $299 price. Comcast's Gigabit Pro is available only to customers within one-third of a mile of Comcast's fiber network and consumers must pay hookup fees and sign a contract.

EPB boasts that its new 10 Gig service, like its other broadband options, is available anywhere in its service region and does not have an installation fee and doesn't require a contract.

EPB has been working with Alcatel-Lucent to develop equipment for the faster Internet speeds.

EPB debuted is high-speed telecom service in 2010 after issuing more than $220 million in bonds to finance a fiber optic network throughout its 600-mile service territory to help the electricity supplier install a smart power grid. EPB benefitted from a $111.7 million federal stimulus grant to help pay for the smart grid.