Is EPB good for Chattanooga?

Ken Hays is the new president of the Enterprise Center, a nonprofit, city-based technology development group.

Chattanooga is becoming a new center of innovation.

photo John Pless - EPB

Chattanooga's highly touted gig-speed Internet service was built with heavy government subsidies that are distorting the marketplace, crowding out private investment and threatening higher power rates or tax bills for others, according to a new economic study of municipal broadband systems.

A conservative think tank opposed to city utilities getting into competitive telecommunications - the State Government Leadership Foundation - sought Wednesday to minimize the benefits of Chattanooga's ultra-high-speed Internet service while raising doubts about its potential costs to city taxpayers and electricity users.