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EPB, the city’s municipal utility, said the service will initially be rolled out to the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Convention Center.
Broadband internet that reaches speeds of up to 25 gigabits per second is now available to all residents and businesses in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the city’s municipal utility Electric Power Board (EPB) announced.
The service, which EPB said will offer symmetrical download and upload speeds, is available over its fiber optic network. The faster service will support cloud-based applications and technologies as well as live streaming, gaming, virtual reality, telehealth, robotic manufacturing and others.
The first use for the enhanced broadband network is the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Convention Center in the city, which officials said will boost bandwidth for thousands of smart devices during conventions, e-sports competitions and other events.
EPB said this latest upgrade is powered by 25G Passive Optical Network technology from Nokia, which helps providers boost its speeds over existing networks. Arista Networks is providing the equipment to upgrade the convention space to Wi-Fi 6 with its multi-gig power-over-internet campus switching platform. This will give the conference center’s visitors high connection speeds on both the wireless and wired networks.
Hamilton County and the city each dedicated $151,000 in funds for new networking infrastructure and Wi-Fi access points in the convention center.
Chattanooga’s internet is owned by the city government through EPB and has provided the nation’s fastest speeds to businesses and residents for years. It has enabled the city to attract businesses and make real headway at closing its digital divide.
A 2020 EPB report found that the fiber network has created at least $2.69 billion in economic value and at least 9,500 jobs since 2011, with roughly 40% of all jobs created in Hamilton County in that timeframe attributed to the network. EPB last upgraded the network in 2015, when it made speeds of 10 Gbps available.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said in a statement released by EPB that the upgraded network is a “new job creation tool” that can boost economic opportunities in the area. And Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly said in a statement it will also “increase quality of life for the tens of thousands of Chattanoogans who rely on high quality, top-speed internet for remote work.”