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:

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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RE: Just great!
By dalingrin on 9/14/2010 1:21:53 PM , Rating: 2
That is why we have no true Free market system left in this country and where we do it works wonderfully for the consumer. Point in case cosmetic surgery or Lasik Surgery one of the few area's in medicine not regulated that heavily by the Govt and prices have dropped dramatically year after year as more competition enters the market.

I think you've got this wrong. The reason for the price drop is because insurance often doesn't cover cosmetic and lasik surgery. Insurance is the primary factor in artificially inflating medical costs. While government regulation is secondary at best. I would say medical malpractice does more to inflate medical costs than government regulation.

Many medical practices will lower their price if you don't have insurance and you ask. They can lower the price not because they get some government subsidy(though some can) but because the rate they charge insurances is inflated.
Additionally, depending on the region, your choice of medical practices is limited to those that are "in-network" if you want to take full advantage of your insurance. This certainly inhibits free market.

RE: Just great!
By AEvangel on 9/14/2010 7:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
Insurance is the primary factor in artificially inflating medical costs. While government regulation is secondary at best.

You would be right on the surface, but can you name two of the largest insurance providers out there??

Medicare & Medicaid.

If the Federal Govt would have never interfered in the Health care market in the first place starting back in the 70's then we would not have the insurance problems we have today. It used to be that you only had health insurance for large ticket health aliments like cancer or accidents, and this insurance which is still available today is very inexpensive, but never for everyday trips to the Doctors or simple prescriptions, but with Govt regulation and interference in the market place the system is corrupted and this is what we have now.

RE: Just great!
By dalingrin on 9/15/2010 7:08:41 PM , Rating: 2
I again, disagree. The increase in Medicaid/Medicare cost per beneficiary has always trailed the private insurance cost per beneficiary.
If private insurance premiums had increased in cost similar to Medicare, then premiums would be 1/3 - 1/4 lower than they are now.
That to me shows that private insurance is driving costs, not Medicare.

RE: Just great!
By AEvangel on 9/16/2010 5:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
I find that hard to believe since I have seen several studies that show cost per beneficiary is always higher in Medicaid/Medicare.

Also most studies never factor in the lost revenue due to the collection of the premium from the tax payer in the first place, nor do they take into account fraud and waste with in the Medicaid/Medicare system.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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