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EPB is delivering the nation's fastest consumer internet connection by the end of the year -- a 1 Gbps service.

Only a few cities worldwide -- like Hong Kong -- have 1 gbps connections.  (Source:

Small-scale socialized internet offerings have been trampling the rates and service of commercial competitors like Comcast. These competitors have responded by trying to outlaw municipal Wi-Fi.  (Source: Comcast)
Socialized municipal offering handily beats out local commercial competitors

Despite the criticism of mild socialism -- including government-owned utilities -- thus far commercial cable offerings in the U.S. have fallen grossly short of successful municipal offerings.  Services like the municipal effort of Wilson, N.C. have offered faster, cheaper internet than commercial offerings.  Cable companies have responded by pouring millions into lobbying local, state, and federal governments to enact proposals to ban municipal internet services.  To date, they have seemed unable to stamp out this pesky brand of community socialism.

Now Chattanooga, Tennessee is preparing to launch a new municipal service which will offer speeds up to an incredible 1 Gbps.  The service, to be deployed by the end of the year, will be the fastest household internet connection available in America today.

Ron Littlefield, the city’s mayor, cheers, "This makes Chattanooga — a midsized city in the South — one of the leading cities in the world in its digital capabilities."

The service will be managed by city-owned utility EPB.  It will join just a handful of consumer 1 Gbps offerings worldwide, including the fastest connections in the city of Hong Kong.  The service is almost 200 times faster than the average U.S. broadband speed according to analysts.

There are some downsides of the super-fast service.  One is the ability to fully utilize the ultra-wide line.  While transmission speeds are somewhat dependent on what speed the downstream party can receive data at, they are also dependent on how fast upstream parties can serve the data at.  So while you may be able to get a 25 GB Blu-Ray movie in about three and a half minutes, in theory, few data providers will be able to serve the movie that fast.

Another obstacle is the price – a whopping $350 a month.  While the city is also offering more affordable bundles that should beat the rates of competitive commercial offerings, its top-tier option is undeniably pricey.  At that rate it may appeal more to businesses than the majority of individual buyers.

Comments Harold DePriest, chief executive of EPB, "We don’t know how to price a gig.  We’re experimenting. We’ll learn."

The new service will reach 170,000 homes and businesses in the area and help add a bit more bang to citizens' buck, in a region that 
Forbes magazine already rates as one of "America's Best Bang-For-The-Buck Cities.

If President Obama has his way, a national socialized internet offering will also soon arrive.  The President's FCC appointees are pushing plans to cover 100 million homes with 100 Mbps by 2020.  That connection would be one-tenth the speed of Chattanooga's. 

Despite the sluggish performance of cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner, some commercial players are also looking to deploy high-speed offerings.  Google announced plans to cover up to 500,000 people with 1 Gbps internet.  The service received 1,100 applications from communities and Google will announce its pick(s) by the end of the year.

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Pricey? Not at all.
By MrTeal on 9/14/2010 10:57:24 AM , Rating: 4
Another obstacle is the price – a whopping $350 a month.

If that 1Gbps line does not include bandwidth caps, it's not pricey, it's a bargain. Even if you used 1% of its capacity, you'd be pulling in 2.6TB of data a month. Granted there are few people who would use such capacity, but it's there if you needed. The other big thing not mentioned in the DT article is that its 1Gbps symmetrical, which you don't see in many home connections. If you want to run a small-medium sized website, you have a cheap way to do it from home. Good for Chattanooga, I still don't forgive you guys for that awful Alan Jackson song though.

BTW - This is another DT article with a half dozen links to other DT articles, a bunch of annoying mouse-over ad-words, and no link to the original article or press release. I had to go to the EPB website to find it. How about citing sources?

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By Homerboy on 9/14/2010 11:01:46 AM , Rating: 2
If you only used 1% of its capacity what is wrong with a DSL or cable connection then? (assuming no bandwidth caps etc on those).

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By MrTeal on 9/14/2010 11:13:13 AM , Rating: 3
Because to get the same amount of data would require you to saturate your connection 24/7. During the evenings you might be wanting to be streaming HD movies/TV to a couple different computers in your house, while uploading a bunch of photos to flicker with your web server running in the background. During the day or late at night you might use very little of the connection.

I'm definitely not saying it's for everyone, it's only valuable for those people who can use it. But for those people it's not expensive, it's a bargain compared to some other options out there.

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By fic2 on 9/14/2010 2:14:57 PM , Rating: 2
The residents in the building I live in would love this. There are 47 units so we would get ~20Mbps each and pay ~$8/month. This would also be cheap for the satellite office I work in. We move large (1G) amounts of data all the time up/down to our main office so this would save a lot of time.

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By MrTeal on 9/14/2010 2:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
It appears I must apologize to Chattanooga, as I've been informed the commented on song refers to a Chattahoochee. My first thought was that a Chattahoochee must be a nasty girl living in Chattanooga, but apparently it's a river.

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By jithvk on 9/14/2010 8:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
I am using 1Gbps connection for almost a year here in Japan. Its completely unlimited and cost me around 6000yen (~$60) per month.
Once you get a connection above 100Mbps (which i had before switching to 1Gbps), your last mile loop is not the bottleneck any more. You can never saturate the link above 20-25% of the actual capacity. Even to utilize the 20% or so, you must have account in some dedicated servers which are located very near to ur place.

This is the result i will get if i do a speed test. Not that great as promised, but still good.

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By CowKing on 9/14/2010 10:40:51 PM , Rating: 1
I think I'm most impressed with the 50Mbps upload than the download speed to be honest

RE: Pricey? Not at all.
By UNHchabo on 9/15/2010 1:53:34 PM , Rating: 1
BTW - This is another DT article with a half dozen links to other DT articles, a bunch of annoying mouse-over ad-words, and no link to the original article or press release. I had to go to the EPB website to find it. How about citing sources?

What are these "annoying mouse-over ad-words" of which you speak?

Oh, right. I forgot that not everyone uses AdBlock. :)

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