While not getting as much attention as cable and telcos, municipal utilities also have a say in the broadband horsepower race. Case in point, EPB Fiber Optics, the subsidiary of Chattanooga’s municipal electric utility, yesterday announced it will introduce FiSpeed Internet 150, a 150 Mb/s symmetric residential Internet service this month.
“The kind of network that is being built in Chattanooga today is exactly what companies like Google are imploring cities in this country to focus their efforts on,” Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield stated in a news release. “Though it may seem surprising to some, Chattanooga is light years ahead when it comes to advanced communications availability.”
The Fi-150 service leverages the Chattanooga utility’s investment in an all fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) triple play network, which already offers a 100 Mb/s symmetrical Internet tier to more than 100,000 homes and businesses in the Chattanooga, Tenn. area. No pricing was revealed for the 150 Mb/s service, but EPB’s 100 Mb/s service is offered at a whopping $350/month.
Everyone in EPB’s service area–170,000 homes and businesses spread over 600 square miles in Chattanooga, Hamilton County and parts of five other counties in southeast Tennessee and three in north Georgia–will have access to the Fi-Speed 150 network by the end of 2010. It’s next-generation Internet communications that puts “Chattanooga ten years ahead of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan,” says EPB.
EPB Fiber’s parent municipal electric utility is also leveraging the FTTH network as the backbone for its Smart Grid roadmap.