Dubbed as Gig City, Chattanooga was the first town in the United States to install a community-wide fiber optic network that delivers 1 Gbps Internet speeds in Sept. 2010. Now the city takes it up a notch, offering 10 Gbps Internet connections, which is 10 times faster than before and probably 1,000 times faster than the average speed that other users have.
Using Alcatel-Lucent's TWDM-PON broadband technology, EPB Fiber Optics offers the fast Internet service to homes and businesses in a 600 square mile area. The city-owned utility company is also going against the traditional point-to-point setup with this.
But Chattanooga isn't the first city to offer 10 Gbps, as Salisbury, North Carolina and Springfield, Vermont have extended a service like this to their townsfolk as well. The only difference is that Chattanooga has a population of 170,000, while the other two cities only have a smaller scope to cater to.
The breakneck Internet speed goes beyond the Federal Communications Commission's baseline broadband speed of 25 Mbps, which was established earlier this year, and for a clearer picture, the 10 Gbps is about 400 times faster and nearly 1,000 times faster than average broadband speeds of 11.9 Mbps.
"Chattanooga's 10 Gig fiber optic network is a world-class platform for innovation," Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, said in a news release on EPB's website.
While this screaming-fast Internet speed is suited to most businesses, analysts question how it can appeal to homeowners, as the 1 Gbps was more than enough for them, not to mention that it's cheaper. But Mayor Andy Berke received the plans to up Internet speeds in the Tennessee town well.
"The 10 Gig offering will continue to grow wages, diversify our local economy and propel Chattanooga as a center for technology and invention," he said.
The 10 Gbps Internet service is available for $299 per month, and it comes with a free installation minus contracts and cancellation fees. The municipal utility firm is also planning to offer 5 gig and 10 gig services designed for small businesses as well as 3 gig, 5 gig and 10 gig services for larger companies.
Photo: Sean MacEntee | Flickr