Minneapolis, MN – The Electric Power Board (EPB) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, has announced a citywide 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps) broadband tier, by far the fastest citywide broadband tier available in the U.S. By the end of the year, 170,000 households and businesses in the region will have access to the fastest speeds available – at affordable rates.
Christopher Mitchell, the Director of the Telecommunications as Commons Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), recently visited Chattanooga to tour and discuss their community-owned fiber network.
Mitchell put the announcement in perspective, “Earlier this year, Google announced they were going to build a 1 Gbps network and several of the largest telecom companies in the country laughed at them, saying it was too difficult. Almost one year later, Chattanooga has built such a network before Google decided with whom to partner.”
Thenetwork will leave no one behind; even the most rural areas served by EPB will have access to the same speeds as those in the city. Entrepreneurs in rural Tennessee will pay far less for far greater speeds than even those in Silicon Valley.
“While the FCC and national media focus on broadband networks run by massive private sector companies, the fastest and most affordable broadband in America is quietly offered by community networks in pockets scattered around the country,” according to Mitchell.
Christopher Mitchell’s comprehensive report on community broadband networks, Breaking the Broadband Monopoly: How Communities Are Building the Broadband Networks They Need, is available as a pdf here: http://www.muninetworks.org/reports/breaking-broadband-monopoly
About ILSR and the New Rules Project:
Since 1974, ILSR has worked with citizen groups, governments and private businesses in developing practices that extract the maximum value from local resources. A program of ILSR, the New Rules Project focuses on local, state and national policies that enable that goal.
Contact: Christopher Mitchell, 612-276-3456 x209