THE GIG

The Scenic (and Smart) City

Thanks to Chattanooga’s high-speed internet for residents and businesses, you can say goodbye to lag time both at work and at home.

WELCOME TO GIG CITY

Chattanooga, also known as “Gig City,” was the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer 1 gigabit-per-second fiber internet service to all of its residents and businesses in 2010. Five years later, the city began offering 10 gigabit-per-second service. This high-tech advancement has attracted dozens of tech firms and startups that take advantage of the fast connections for things like telehealth-app development and 3D printing.

Gig City’s EPB Fi-Speed Internet is the world’s fastest internet – and surprisingly affordable. EPB is Chattanooga’s community-owned electric utility, built to run America’s first true Smart Grid and offer residential high speed Internet, video and telephone services. The city’s Fiber Optic network enables upload and download speeds 200 times faster than the current national average. Users can stream with buffering and power multiple devices at once.

Infrastructure Improvements

Not only does Chattanooga’s high-speed internet help our residents, but it also helps develop our city by improving transportation, energy usage, power reliability and telemedicine. For instance, The Center for Urban Informatics and Progress at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is using EPB’s high-speed internet connections to gather and analyze transportation patterns and behaviors from traffic cameras. The goal of this research is to “directly or indirectly improve citizens’ lives and create an urban environment that is livable, accessible and healthy for all,” according to center director Mina Sartipi.

In addition, The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office is working with EPB by using its fiber-optic-based smart grid to assess home and business energy use in Chattanooga and develop recommendations for improvements to cut down energy use. Our high-speed Gig connection allows health care providers to assess and handle medical needs at home, while also helping patients connect via phone or web with major hospitals and treatment centers. EPB estimates its smart grid has already cut power outages by 55% by providing better detection of potential electricity delivery problems and more quickly rerouting power.

 

The sun sets over the river in Chattanooga, TN with a view of the purple sky behind the bridge

University Innovation

Thanks to the Gig, STEM students in Chattanooga are able to learn and participate in research at a higher level than ever before. Researchers at the University of Southern California have collaborated with STEM School Chattanooga to teach students remotely. The researchers can place live biological specimens under a Digital Cinema Microscope and capture ultra-high-resolution video of the microorganisms while simultaneously transmitting live, HD images from the microscope to students in the STEM class. This is all made possible because of Chattanooga’s high-speed internet streaming and downloading capabilities.

Meanwhile, there are five primary research areas at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, including Energy, Smart City & Infrastructure, Automotive/Manufacturing, Man-Machine-Cyber Systems and Engineering and Construction Management. Thanks to Chattanooga’s 10-gig internet speed, students and faculty conducting research in these fields are able to access and upload data quickly with a reliable connection. In particular, the University’s Center for Urban Informatics and Progress streams millions of data points every day—audio, video, air quality, RADAR, LIDAR—all of which is used to identify problems and work toward crafting solutions that make Chattanooga an even better place to live and work.

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