EPB, the municipally owned electric and broadband company serving Chattanooga, made big news over a decade ago when it launched gigabit broadband citywide. At the time many saw it as overkill, but gigabit service is now quite commonplace – so commonplace, in fact, that EPB began offering 10 Gbps service in 2015 and has now decided to shake things up again by deploying symmetrical 25 Gbps service.

The ultimate goal of the new deployment, as with the initial deployment, is economic development. Despite the naysayers, having gigabit service available helped attract high-tech companies to Chattanooga some years ago. And today’s press release shows that the high-tech economy is still top of mind in the community.

For example, the first customer for the 25 Gbps service is the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Convention Center, which hopes the service will help draw business conferences, e-gaming competitions, and live streaming events.

“EPB is keeping Chattanooga on the cutting edge,” said Vicky Gregg, EPB Board Chair, in a press release about EPB 25 Gbps service. “We are once again breaking the typical approach for internet service providers by proactively upgrading to the latest technologies in anticipation of future needs. Our goal is to enable new frontiers for technical innovation and job creation for our customers to the benefit of our whole community.”

The service is based on 25G PON technology from Nokia. As EPB noted, “The latest upgrade uses 25GS PON (25 Gigabit Symmetrical Passive Optical Network) line cards incorporated into the same fiber nodes and uses the same fiber used for the existing GPON and XGS-PON network.”

Some other providers, including Bell Canada, Frontier and Hotwire, have done trials or limited deployments of 25G PON technology, in some cases at speeds below 25 Gbps. But EPB’s claim that it is the first company to offer 25 Gbps symmetrical service community-wide appears to be correct.

For now, however, the 25 Gbps service is quite costly. According to a company spokesperson, the price is $1,500 per month for residential customers and $12,500 per month for commercial customers.

A look at EPB’s website also reveals that the service requires a professional grade router. Business and residential customers interested in 25 Gbps service are invited to schedule a consultation with EPB.

Updated to include pricing information

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