Chattanooga's three-way bandwidth battle is gaining steam, as EPB, Comcast and AT&T each try to claim supremacy over Chattanooga's living rooms and offices.
Though EPB made national news by laying gigabit fiber to the home, its competitors Comcast and AT&T say they, too, are upping the ante in their Internet, TV and telephone options.
AT&T has been busy laying fiber recently with this year's rollout of its U-Verse service in Chattanooga and the expansion of its nationwide backbone, according to spokeswoman Cathy Lewandowski.
AT&T also offers gigabit speeds to businesses if requested, meeting business customers "where their needs are," Lewandowski said.
In fact, AT&T technically offered gigabit service in the Chattanooga market before any other companies, though it is provided only on a case-by-case basis, officials said.
"Some providers may offer faster upstream speeds for a significantly higher price," she said. "We're focused on giving customers what they've shown they want, especially in today's economy: speed, value and mobility at a price they can afford."
The company has 877,455 miles of fiber infrastructure nationwide, including 40-gigabit per second backbone cable, the largest deployment of that type of fiber in the world, the company said.
"AT&T offers the distinct advantage of offering multiple essential communications services, including wireless (voice, data and mobile apps) to businesses of all sizes - either separately or as part of bundled offers," said Lewandowski.
AT&T also soon will raise the bar on wireless speed, she said, as the company begins to roll out its 4G wireless technology, LTE, which could "eventually deliver theoretical peak speeds up to 10 to 20 times faster than today's 3G networks."
For video game enthusiasts, AT&T's U-Verse service will work on a Microsoft Xbox 360, allowing the system to function as a receiver, the company announced this month.
Comcast currently offers Internet speeds of 50 megabits to residential customers, or 100 to business users for just under $200, while still offering more affordable plans to value-driven customers, according to spokeswoman Laurie Shipley.
"Our focus has been offering a variety of speed tiers, starting with our economy tier of 1.5 Mbps for only $29.95 per month," Shipley said. "Also, unlike EPB, Comcast has added value for customers with free Norton security software and PowerBoost."
As the first to the Chattanooga market with high-speed Internet, Comcast has the added benefit of built-in relationships with many customers, and a local team of more than 300 employees who service business and residential consumers.