backtop


Print 74 comment(s) - last by Integral9.. on Sep 22 at 9:17 AM


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: TropicalIsland.de)

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.



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Stupid waste of money
By icrf on 9/14/2010 11:34:13 AM , Rating: 5
I live in Chattanooga, and how the network was funded is probably different from what you're envisioning. EPB is first and foremost an electric power company. To better monitor usage (including skipping meter readers) and better locate outages, they needed to install a communication network. They already had ROW to everywhere in the county, so laying fiber had minimal regulation problems (the same as any local incumbent, like Comcast and AT&T). The only government grant was a federal grant for the actual smart meters.

Once they get to the point of running fiber to every electricity customer, it wasn't a huge leap to offer end users other services over that fiber. The entire fiber build-out and all internet/phone/video was funded with bonds (again, the same as any company could do).

The only thing that makes this internet build-out sound socialized is the fact that as a city-owned company, they don't have short-term profits to worry about. If they think they can make more money off the network than they'll have to pay by the time the bonds mature, then it's a simple business decision. The fact that the city owns EPB may make the bonds issued by EPB safer, too.

In the end, if electricity monitoring and internet share the same fiber, surely they share some of the costs. I don't know how the "one subsidizes the other" argument is resolved.


"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki