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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Michelle Michaud, manager of marketing and communications at Assemblers Inc., in her home office.

This story was updated on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, at 6:37 p.m. with additional information.

With the fastest internet service available anywhere in town, Chattanooga is the best city in America to work from home, according to a new report from PC magazine.

The computer-oriented publication examined data from Ookla Speedtest, BestPlaces.net, and BroadbandNow to identify top cities in the United States and Canada with affordable housing, fast gigabit, reasonably priced internet connections, and remote-work-friendly lifestyles.

"Our number-one remote-working town in the U.S. is Chattanooga, known as "Gig City," which rolled out a citywide fiber network in 2010," said Sascha Sagan, author of the study on the best American cities for remote work. "Chattanooga has been pushing hard to attract tech workers and companies based on its affordable real estate, business-friendly administrations, and widely available broadband internet."

The top ranking from PC magazine comes just three months after the web site JustBusiness also named Chattanooga as one of the best cities in the U.S. for home-based businesses. Chattanooga ranked 6th best of all cities in the JustBusiness ranking.

Best remote work cities

1. Chattanooga

2. Bear Valley Springs, California

3. Pawlett, Vermont

4. Kaysville, Utah

5. Jonesborough, Tennessee

Source: PC magazine

While most cities boast some type of Gig internet service, many don't have both upload and download Gig speeds available in Chattanooga. EPB is the only utility to offer Gig service to its entire 600-square-mile service territory.

Even before the pandemic swelled the ranks of workers doing their jobs at home, Chattanooga had an average number of remote workers. In 2019, 6.8% of Hamilton County residents worked from home, compared with 5.7% of all Americans, according to U.S. census data.

"In 2020, it was evident that Chattanooga has been able to attract talent from major cities and companies," Dynamo Management Co. director Santosh Sankar told PC Magazine. "I've run into folks who work for Spotify, Stripe, Netflix, et al. The quality of life was a major reason many of these folks moved from places like NYC, SF, LA, and more."

PC Magazine said even after the pandemic remote work is likely to prove more popular among a bigger share of the workforce.

In June of 2020 amid the pandemic Statista reported that up to 11.2% of workers were staying home. Although that share has since declined, 22% of workers said they'd be interested in working from home permanently, if possible.

Best remote work cities

1. Chattanooga

2. Bear Valley Springs, California

3. Pawlett, Vermont

4. Kaysville, Utah

5. Jonesborough, Tennessee

Source: PC magazine

 

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