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Chattanooga Celebrates Fourth Anniversary of City-wide Gigabit Network by Upgrading all Service; Gigabit Service Now Available to Residents at $69.99 a Month


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The City of Chattanooga, the first American city to have a community-wide “Gig” fiber network offering up to 1 gigabit-per-second Internet service, announced today that municipal utility EPB will increase all residential and business customers’ service speeds to a minimum of 100 megabits-per-second while upgrading thousands of customers to the gig, making Chattanooga the country’s city with the highest concentration of gig users. 

Residential customers with current service of 100 megabits-per-second or higher will be automatically upgraded to 1 gigabit-per-second service. The residential cost for this service will be $69.99 per month. Residential customers whose network speeds will increase from today’s 50 megabits-per-second to 100 megabits-per-second will have their monthly charges remain at $58. While the average download speed in the US hovers around 7 megabits-per-second, nearly 50,000 homes and businesses in the Chattanooga area will now enjoy symmetrical speeds of 100 megabits-per-second or faster.  All customers will receive faster network speeds by October 1.

“High speed connectivity is more accessible than ever in Chattanooga, and more accessible here than anywhere else in the country,” said Harold DePriest, President and Chief Executive Officer of EPB. “We are expanding our offerings while simultaneously bringing down prices.”

Chattanooga has clearly emerged as a "do-it-yourself" role model for other cities across the nation that aren’t fortunate enough to have a major company like Google Fiber come to town and build out infrastructure, said Mr. DePriest.

“We have had visits from municipal utilities, government officials, community leaders and private companies from around the globe, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Ireland, Brazil and throughout the U.S.,” Mr. DePriest said. “These groups are all looking at EPB as a model for a successful, sustainable gig network combined with a modernized electric distribution system. We are proud to make ultra high-speed Internet and smarter electric power distribution available to our customers.”

Since the gig was made available to all city residents and businesses, it has begun to transform Chattanooga’s economic profile, helped attract new companies and enlivened the city’s entrepreneurial culture. More than 1,000 jobs have been created over the past few years, most at tech-heavy startups, and the city has emerged as a haven for innovation and next generation businesses, with programs like GigTank that welcome entrepreneurs and startups to stay and work in the city.

“The launch of true high-speed bandwidth has been critical to Chattanooga’s recent economic successes,” said J.Ed. Marston, VP of Marketing and Communications at the Chattanooga Area of Commerce. “Companies that are heavily reliant on the Internet have found that EPB’s unprecedented speeds, especially when it comes to synchronistic upload speeds, directly support their successes.”

Ultra-high-speed bandwidth has sparked progress in Chattanooga and residents are excited to welcome even more advancement as the network grows, said Andy Berke, Mayor of Chattanooga.

“The gig infrastructure plays a key role in Chattanooga's long term strategy to be a city ready to compete in the 21st century economy. And with EPB's upgrade, more Chattanoogans will have access to the fastest Internet speeds in the country," said Mayor Andy Berke. "The gig has been a catalyst for progress over the last few years and now is the perfect time to capitalize on this asset. We must continue to grow innovation, support entrepreneurism and create opportunity for all in our community.”

About The Gig CityTM: Chattanooga Tennessee

Hailed by the New York Times for having America’s fastest Internet and by Outside Magazine as “The Best Town Ever,” Chattanooga combines advanced technology infrastructure with a thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere that’s just minutes from mountains, rivers and other outdoor playgrounds. For more information: www.chattanoogachamber.com.

About EPB

In 1935, the City of Chattanooga established EPB as a nonprofit agency to provide electric power to the greater Chattanooga area. Today, EPB remains one of the largest publicly-owned electric power distributors in the country, serving more than 169,000 homes and businesses in a 600-square-mile area that includes greater Chattanooga and Hamilton County, portions of surrounding Tennessee counties and areas of North Georgia. Using a 100% fiber optic network as its backbone, EPB constructed a Smart Grid, a next-generation electric system that includes communication capabilities designed to reduce the impact of power outages, improve response time and allow customers greater control of their electric power usage. This same fiber optic backbone is allowing EPB to offer high-speed Internet, TV and phone service to business and residential customers community-wide. In September 2010, EPB became the first company in the United States to offer community-wide one gigabit-per-second Internet speed, a critical component of next generation technology innovation and economic development, to more than 150,000 homes and businesses. This exclusive capability has attracted worldwide attention and earned Chattanooga the nickname “Gig City.” For more information, visit www.epb.net.


9/17/2013