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Radio News: Chattanooga mesh network luring people, business

Jun 16, 2016 10:49 pm
Techdirt reports that a recent Consumer Reports survey found the Chattanooga Electric Power Board and Google Fiber were the only two internet providers with positive consumer satisfaction ratings among 30 national ISPs. "The results were ugly for value, too, with 28 of the 30 TV service providers earning our lowest score. The two exceptions —municipal broadband company EPB Fiber Optics-Chattanooga and Google Fiber — each earned high scores from the survey respondents. Both services offer super-fast 1-gigabit-per-second (Gbps) speeds. EPB Fiber Optics-Chattanooga ranked highest in the survey for overall satisfaction, edging out Google Fiber and cable company Armstrong." While Google Fiber is well-known, the Chattanooga utility provides electric power, digital cable TV, high-speed internet, and phone services in Chattanooga utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network. Comcast, and several politicians working for giant Internet providers, have tried to kill it, and want to keep its success a secret, for fear that other municipalities will start cheap mesh networks that provide such good service. But word is getting out. This week, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said the city's broadband service has businesses and people moving to Tennessee town. "It changed our conceptions of who we are and what is possible,” Berke said. “Before we had never thought of ourselves as a technology city." But now the downtown area has doubled its residents, and landlords often advertise the fast internet speeds as selling points. “It’s an explosion of growth in our technology sector,” he said. “That has sparked not only this (downtown) living but restaurants and bars and music and the quality of life that truly makes a city interesting, cool, hip, vibrant and energetic." Read the full story at Techdirt.
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