Would you move to Chatanooga for Internet speed?

So , the Chatanooga power (and now high speed Internet) utility, is now offering Internet speeds up up to 1Gbps over fiber optic connections to homes. (A U.S. record, far as I know.) If you ignore EPB “triple play” offerings of TV and telephony alongside Internet connectivity and just go for the Internet connection, your prices are these (I’ve rounded up from the posted prices):

  • $58 for 30Mbps
  • $70 for 50Mbps
  • $140 for 100Mbps and $350 for 1Gbps.

Let’s assume you get one or more IP addresses with this, and no blocked ports. In other words, a full native Internet connection. Answer these:

  • Does that make you think about moving there?
  • If not, would you get it if you lived in Chatanooga?
  • And if your answer to that is yes, how would you recommend EPB improve its offering, either in its deployment or its characterization in marketing?

Just wondering.


  1. Kevin’s avatar

    If I were in Chatanooga, I probably would purchase their services. In fact, I’d even think about putting a few servers in an extra room and calling it a day. That’d be ideal, but I have no idea how cost-effective that would be in that area. I wouldn’t move there solely for a better internet connection, though.

    Verizon FiOS will have to do for now.

  2. Joe Moreno’s avatar

    I’m guessing that pricing is limited to non-commercial use without static IPs. Also, the “up to” is always tricky since they probably don’t guarantee an minimum bandwidth speed.

    But, at these blazing fast speeds, I’d defiantly want to take a closer look. It could be worth it to setup a colo facility there. Their press release says it’s available for business customers.

    To answer your second and third questions, I’d definitely get it if I lived there and ask EPB to detail the costs and speeds for business customers.

  3. george kyaw naing’s avatar

    Very attractive offers. However, I wouldn’t move just for a better internet connection.


  4. Andrew Leyden’s avatar

    I’m ensconced in Hong Kong right now where we have 1gbps…supposedly.

    While the offers of blazing Internet speeds are on every sign, ad, bus, taxi, etc., the cold reality is that the Internet here is like a “chain with weak links”.

    For example,

    * Not available in all areas.

    * Your router has a WAN-to-LAN throughput of say 420mbps (which is good for most routers today).

    * Your building itself might be regulated to something far more limited, like 130mb, due to old wires or other components.

    Or you read the fine print in which they say 1gbps only applies to websites IN HONG KONG and not to other sites in other parts of the world or even in other parts of Asia. (I didn’t even mention the 2 year non-breakable contract for service).

    So before I’d pack up the kids and head back to Tennessee for the blazing Internet, I’d like to hear more about the weakest links in that chain.

  5. jonathan peterson’s avatar

    I would happily. I’m currently stuck with getting cable for no reason over than internet, or keeping a phone line for no other reason than internet. No uverse, no fios.

    My only non-phone company/cable company option is CLEAR, which I’m trying out now.

    The question isn’t whether people would subscribe. The question is would companies relocate because of availability of that kind of bandwidth to the home. Call centers, radiology and other image analysis, media companies, web development – all would have significant advantages with that kind of bandwidth in the community.

  6. Wesley Swatlovski’s avatar

    I wish I could get 1Gb/s speeds. That would be gaming bliss for hardcore gamers.

    I have to agree with Andrew though. I have paid for upgraded internet speeds in the past and not seen much of an increase in speed. Advertised speeds are always covered in stipulations.

    *not available in all areas
    *only this fast on mondays from 3am-3:15am
    *must have a three legged dog named Lucky

    Or any other way they can weasel out of not supplying the full 1Gb/s speeds.

    It would be fantastic to have it but I don’t think anybody’s homes are capable of taking 1Gb/s from the line to your computer. It is good to know that the bar has been set. Now we just need home wiring, routers, etc… to catch up.

    I want it badly but no, I am not moving to BFE to get it.


  7. Chris’s avatar

    “In Finland according to the new law, from July 1 all telecommunications companies will be obliged to provide all residents with broadband lines that can run at a minimum 1Mbps speed.

    The British government has agreed to provide everyone with a minimum 2Mbps broadband connection by 2012 but it is a commitment rather than a legally binding ruling.”

    To answer your questions, I’d definitely get it if I lived there!

  8. Mike Warot’s avatar

    I don’t consume nor create anything on the order of that type of bandwidth. Over the past 13 years I’ve managed to take about 383,282,853,944 bytes of photos. I could only fill that pipe for a few hours… then it would sit idle.

    What IS valuable is having native internet. This would allow me to create an InterTubes server which could then allow everyone I wanted to see any or all of the photos that I chose to share, without going through Flickr or any other obstruction.

    I’m hoping that Diaspora gets off the ground. I’m going to be doing my own bit of chipping in testing things and offering feedback to the community.

    Native internet is a very precious commodity, no matter what the bandwidth.

  9. Rex Hammock’s avatar

    Hey Doc. I live in Nashville and think Chattanooga is a swell place to visit. Great people and some savvy folks I’ve met online live there. Fantastic aquarium. See Rock City. It’s surprisingly close (about a 2 hour drive) to both Atlanta and Nashville. Some of the most stunningly beautiful, green foothills you’ll ever see — an area that will remind you of your native North Carolina.

    But would I ever move there?

    No way.

  10. Brett Glass’s avatar

    Their prices are below the wholesale cost of backbone bandwidth. And there are many other costs involved besides just the bandwidth. Those prices simply aren’t sustainable by a for-profit business, so they must be using taxpayer money to subsidize their “business.”

  11. Ed Dodds’s avatar

    Doc: From my perspective — here’s the deal: The compute power is at Oak Ridge, the new Nashville Medical Trade Center is slated for Nashville 2013, Internet2 and National LambdaRail may or may not connect the permanent HIMSS / IHE.net interoperability work at NMTC, and only 2/3 of Chattanooga employers have telework policies in place. We have the pieces for a results-only work environment State (some other fiber in Jackson and some ARRA fiber projects at least being talked about; also Comcast, Charter, UVerse, etc.; ). ConnectedTennessee.org is a good resource). Problem is, as a culture, managers still work like plantation bosses when it comes to trusting employees [2 tools: whip, whip harder–both require onsite employees to deliver}. Until they change, no amount of infrastructure will matter. Work from home or colabs (http://twitter.com/colabnashville) needs to be the DEFAULT management paradigm, with mid-level managers needing to make a business case for employees driving in. Btw, great potential for both volunteer computing (BOINC, Grid Republic, World Community Grid, etc.) and private compute clouds (http://cslsc.com/) both within and without enterprises — but IT ALL COMES DOWN TO WHETHER THE C-SUITE WILL INCENT MANAGERS TO TRUST EMPLOYEES. @ed_dodds @conmergence

  12. Jamie Lawson’s avatar

    Well, I do live in Chattanooga and I do subscribe to the ebp 50 mbps service. I can say that my speed is true to their advertising both up and down, 24/7. (No, I don’t work for or know anyone who works for epb!)

    I was one of the first residential neighborhoods they rolled the service out to last summer. Would I move here simply for the service? Probably not, but now that I am here and have experienced it, I don’t think I would move away.

  13. Los Angeles Marketing Guy’s avatar

    Sounds like prices are coming down. Unfortunately, I live in an AT&T part of L.A., and they only run fiber to the vault on the street. That means the last 200 feet run over 80 year old copper wire. So basically, they collected “fees” to convert to fiber optics, sat on them for the better part of 10 years, and then when finally coerced by market forces (or the FCC) to upgrade, they cheaped out.

    Of course, I guess I would move to a Verizon part of town for FIOS (they offer up to 30 and maybe 50Mbps). But move to Memphis? I’m too much of an L.A. wuss to survive one summer there!

  14. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Los Angeles Marketing Guy, good answer. Thanks. Here’s your FiOS availability map. And here are the Internet plans. Note that the speeds differ when you also get FiOS TV.

  15. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Los Angeles Marketing Guy, good answer. Thanks. Here’s your FiOS availability map. And here are the Internet plans. (Zoom in. Lots of FiOS there.) Note that the speeds differ when you also get FiOS TV.

  16. Gourmet Coffee Lover’s avatar

    I can’t comprehend how an individual would use 1Gbs especially at $350 per month. Personally I would not move there and if I lived there I would not get it.

    It may not be for the masses but for business. From a marketing standpoint EPB can gain the superiority perception in innovation and fastest speed that can also be extended to their other family of products. By proper positioning and advertising campaigns this can lead to larger market share company wide.

  17. CRStL’s avatar

    Not worth it, in the next few years this will be a standard offering in most big cities. I wouldn’t think Chat-town was to techy, so it would be difficult to run my business there, which defeats the purpose of having a 1GB connection.

  18. Google Tablet’s avatar

    I absolutely would factor that in. I have Comcast now (10 yrs) and I refuse to move to the country because I would lose broadband.

Comments are now closed.