Gigabit Nation Takes the Chattanooga Choo Choo to the Internet’s Future

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The citizens, businesses and institutions of Chattanooga are living the Vita Gigabit, and loving it. It’s been just a short time (September 2009) since EPB, the city’s public utility, rolled out their fiber network. And an even shorter time since they began offering gigabit service over the network in September 2010. But the impact is far reaching.

James Ingraham

Jim Ingraham, EPB’s VP of Strategic Planning, has been in the thick of things since the beginning of the project. He led the development of the network’s business plan. On Gigabit Nation’s inaugural broadcast (7/27 2:00 p.m. EST), we’ll discuss:

1)    how EPB came to focus on smart grid as a main application of the fiber network, and what are the economic development implications of this decision;

2)    what are some of the cool uses and benefits of the network to date; and

3)    does the mesh network riding over the fiber have the potential to deliver on the dream of municipal wireless from several years ago?

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Gigabit Nation: Broadband talk radio

Two weeks ago I decided to pull the trigger. There are lots of communities planning to build, looking for money to build, or already building broadband networks. These folks often have more questions than answers. So why not bring people who have experience in the trenches directly to those in need of answers?

That’s when Gigabit Nation, Broadband talk radio™ was born (

Gigabit Nation’s mission is threefold: 1) inform listeners how to get meaningful broadband into communities everywhere, 2) help communities increase broadband adoption and 3) provide a vehicle for people to work together – and with organizations – to get broadband done.

We’re bringing community and industry stakeholders on the twice-weekly (2:00 EST) show to share their stories. People from the public, private and nonprofit sectors who have helped make broadband possible, or are working on new broadband projects.  But why stop at talk radio?

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Gigabit Nation Guest Schedule

August 2011

These communities and organizations will be represented on Gigabit Nation Broadband Talk Radio this month. If you subscribe to my RSS feed, you’ll receive regular updates as guests are added to the schedule.

[As of July 25]

July 27 Chattanooga, TN Public utility-owned gigabit network
August 1 Franklin County, VA PPP for wireless countywide network
August 3 Santa Monica, CA Municipal-owned citywide gigabit network
August 8 Howard County, MD Part of 8-county broadband stimulus grant
August 15 Hiawatha Broadband Regional private ISP forming PPPs
August 22 Powell, WY Muni citywide fiber network in PPP
August 29 OpenCape Cape Cod, MA broadband stimulus winner

Vision Check at Google’s Gigabit (Kansas) Cities

Near the end of June I swung into the two Kansas Cities (Kansas and Missouri) to see how things are going now that the euphoria was starting to wear off from the announcement that Google is awarding both cities a gigabit network. This was probably one of the most anticipated announcement in the tech world this century. But of course, after the euphoria comes the hard work.

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Take the Chattanooga Choo Choo to Broadband’s Future

“Chattanooga is what the Internet will look like in 10 years. We’re 10 times faster 10 years sooner than the goals established in the National Broadband Plan.”  Harold DePriest, President – EPB.

My May broadband site visit to Chattanooga was very enlightening. Something akin to time travel as I got to see some interesting applications made possible by a highspeed fiber network that’s now capable of delivering a gigabit per second of Internet access speed. This is what most of the U.S. could look like in 5 or so years if we could just get the big telcos out of the way.

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