By Ed Oswald | Monday, September 13, 2010 at 1:38 pm
When you’re thinking of ultra-high speed Internet and its expected rollout across the country, I’m sure the last place you’d probably name is Chattanooga, Tennessee. However if all goes right, the mid-sized southern city will likely be the first in the country to break the one gigabit speed barrier here in the US.
City-owned power utility EPB said Monday that it would be able to deliver the ultra-fast speeds by the end of the year. The company had originally announced in June that it would deliver speeds of 150 megabits per second over its 100% fiber-optic network, but apparently the company’s decided to go all out.
Ready to sign up? Better have a big pocketbook. The gigabit service will set you back $350 per month — making it prohibitively expensive to all but mid and large sized businesses and the wealthy. But even its own executives have admitted they really don’t know how to price the offering — so I don’t think it would be all that unreasonable to expect the price to come down fairly soon.
It will also have a little more guidance later this year after Google makes its expected announcement on where it would build its own ultra-high speed network offering similar speeds. The company pledged to cover 500,000 people in the US with fiber-optic Internet earlier in the year. 1,100 communities applied as a result.
So you may ask, “why are they doing it if it’s so darn expensive?” From EPB CEO Harold DePriest comes the best answer I’ve heard from a executive in quite awhile: “Because we can.”