The Gig City is adding more gig internet service, at least for business telephone customers.

AT&T announced Monday it is bringing gigabit internet speeds to commercial customers in parts of Chattanooga, Cleveland and 20 other Tennessee cities as part of the expansion of its AT&T Business Fiber network. The service allows businesses that connect with the AT&T fiber network to download and upload up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

EPB, Chattanooga's municipal electricity provider, began offering America's first community-wide 1 gig service five years ago and upgraded that service to 10 gigs for those willing to pay premium prices for their internet connections.

Comcast, the local cable TV provider, announced earlier this month it was improving its Comcast Business plans in July to offer up to 10 gig service if businesses pay to connect to Comcast fiber lines.

AT&T said it is expanding its 1 gig service to not only Chattanooga and Cleveland but also Memphis, Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, Alcoa, Cordova, Lebanon, Antioch, Dickson, Madison, Brentwood, Franklin, Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, Hermitage, Columbia and Collierville.

"For years, as a result of the pro-business policies that have been pursued by our elected leaders at the state and local levels, AT&T has provided gigabit and multi-gigabit connections to businesses across Tennessee, helping to spur business success and job creation," said Joelle Phillips, president of AT&T Tennessee. "With the increased speeds now available through AT&T Business Fiber, AT&T employees have shown yet another example of how we are innovating to increase connectivity to businesses in urban and rural areas alike."

AT&T invested nearly $1.15 billion in Tennessee wireless and wireline networks from 2013 through 2015 to help lay the backbone for the new service.

With internet speeds up to 1 Gbps businesses can:

  • * Download 8,000 word processing documents in 1 second.
  • * Download a 2-hour high definition video in 36 seconds.
  • * Backup/restore a 1 terabyte hard drive in 2.5 hours.

State Sen. Sara Kyle, a former member of the Tennessee Public Service Commission, praised the addition by AT&T.

"High-speed internet is quickly becoming the backbone of our economy and news of this private investment is most welcome."

AT&T said it has 1 million business customers nationwide with enhanced fiber service, including more than 28,500 in Tennessee.

"We currently have around 360 multi-tenant office buildings that are live with AT&T Business Fiber in Tennessee," AT&T spokeswoman Cathy Lewandowski said. "And we will continue to build out to keep pace with growing demand."

This story was updated June 27 at 11:45 p.m. with more information.