We live in an age where we can survive without interacting with fellow humans but not without the internet. The internet service providers are well aware of the fact that internet connectivity has become a basic necessity after food, shelter, and clothing. Such companies tend to take advantage of the constant demand for internet services. A number of dominant broadband providers tend to overcharge or offer lousy service as they know their customers rely on them for this necessity. As the awareness regarding this unfair treatment is coming to light, various government organizations have come up with a common solution for this: municipal broadband. Even though this theory is already there on paper, hardly any cities have implemented it.
One city of the U.S. has taken up this concept and worked upon it to make sure that its residents get efficient internet services at an affordable price. When the municipal broadband service was launch in Chattanooga in the year of 2010, it became the first ever city in the country to do so. This came as a surprise as Chattanooga has the look of a post-industrial city with old brick buildings and wide streets. On walking into this city of Tennessee, one can notice the remnants of the 60s feel. Despite this, the city managed to achieve something which no other big city has been able to achieve. Now other municipal corporations are taking inspiration from this broadband facility and aim to incorporate it as well.
About Chattanooga’s municipal broadband
Connecting the entire city with a common broadband connection is a big project. Usually, such projects are carried out by a private company who is given the tender by the city’s municipal corporation. But that wasn’t the case over here. The municipal power company of the city (EPB) took this project under its wings in 2007. While modernizing the power grid of the city, it laid every customer’s house with fiber-optic cable along with it. After investing a lot of time and government funds into the project, it has finally worked. The residents of Chattanooga now enjoy gigabit connections at the price of $70 per month. The low-income residents get special subsidies as well.
Chattanooga offers the internet at the speed of 10-gigabit per second through its municipal broadband. This is faster than private connections as one an average, any private broadband company offers 300 megabits per second. The EPB has already won over innumerable customers of Comcast which offers 85 slower speeds at double the price. This municipal broadband system was not only beneficial for the residents but the city’s economy as well. Such impressive speed has attracted a number of tech firms to make the most of this service. It seems that this project has revived this city and brought it on the map of the tech world.