chattanooga

Content tagged with "chattanooga"

Displaying 191 - 200 of 209

Another Chattanooga Update

Chattanooga continues to generate a lot of press since their announcement of the nation's fastest broadband speeds. For those who crave technical details, this article from Cable 360 looks into the tech behind the network:
EPB contracted with Alcatel-Lucent as its GPON network supplier. "We've designed our network a little bit different, with our control center located where our operations center is," says Wade. "We've designed a series of fiber rings that circle our city, allowing us to have multiple 10 Gig MPLS rings, terminating in 17 communications hubs connected back with our control center."
Another article from Cable 360 (affiliate) gets into the smart-grid details of the network:
As far as the cost savings of the smart grid are concerned, users often don't realize that it costs several times more at certain times of day to generate electricity than it does at others, says EPB COO David Wade.
But perhaps the most interesting update from EPB is another window into their take rates (from Tecca.com):
We are ahead of our business plan projections for this time frame. Since our launch last September (2009), we have signed up 18,873 homes to our EPB fiber optics services. That is a 15.45% take rate. Our goal is a 35% take rate, and we believe we will reach that in 2 years. Of our EPB fiber optics customers, 81% are receiving our Fi-Speed internet service. We are still building out fiber optics as well, and our entire 600-square-mile customer service area will have access to these advanced services by the end of the this year (2010).
And finally, a short interview (audio quality is not good) with an EPB employee discussing Chattanooga's community fiber network. An interesting piece: noting that EPB views all employees as ambassadors of their product and offered them public speaking training.

Smart Grid Updates - Chattanooga and Ponca City

Communities with both smart-grid investments as well as community networks are again in the news, this time featuring Chattanooga, Leesburg, and Ponca City. Thanks to my colleague at EnergySelfReliantStates.org, who posted this item. ESRS publishes original content about decentralized renewable energy - mostly of a quantitative nature using charts. Perhaps one of the reasons the broadband networks run by public power utilities are so much more reliable than those run by telco and cablecos is the many decades that public power companies have focused intently on reliability.
Reliability is a good economic development tool, he said. One business looking at Chattanooga asked about the cost of a redundant feed. After EPB explained its smart grid plans, the company chose Chattanooga and decided it didn’t need a redundant feed, he said. In talking to businesses, "I can tell you ... that they get it and they get the importance of this level of automation."
The article offered more details about Ponca City's wireless network that we had previously not discussed. In addition to offering free Wi-Fi to residents, the Ponca City offers fiber-optic-based broadband to local businesses... and two are quite connected.
Perhaps the most eye-opening benefit is that Ponca City offers all of its 26,000 citizens free WiFi service. The city uses its fiber network to sell broadband services to businesses (one has requested 300 mbps service) and those sales pay for the free WiFi, Baird said. The network is basically support-free, said Baird, adding that he gets one or two calls per week. And the free WiFi is "a huge economic development draw," he said.

Intelligent Communities in US Invested in Community Networks

The Intelligent Community Forum has released their list of 2011's 21 smart communities.
The 2011 Smart21 ... highlights communities from 12 nations and includes 7 that appeared on last year’s list. Two communities, Issy-les-Moulineaux and Northeast Ohio, returned to the list after a 1-2 year absence. There were two Chinese, one Indian and one Australian communities on the list, as well as six from the USA, four from Canada and one each from the UK, France, Hungary and Brazil.
As usual, the list of US Communities that made the list is dominated by communities that have taken greater responsibility for their broadband infrastructure. Chattanooga was on the list (how could it not be?) with its 1Gbps community fiber network that we have covered. Dakota County, Minnesota, is on the list and was a pioneer in county-owned fiber and conduit. For some reason, ICF is under the mistaken impression that the county has been well served by commercial providers… as my parents live in the County as well as a number of friends, I strongly disagree. Danville, Virginia, has built an open access fiber network for local businesses and plans to expand it to residents (our Danville coverage).

Do we Really Need Faster Broadband

Advocates for community broadband networks in urban areas that already have cable and DSL options are often asked why the community needs something better. Aside from the many benefits in terms of reliability and symmetrical offers, we do need faster connections. Those who doubt that may want to remind themselves of a great list of very smart people underestimating technology.
1876 “The telephone has too many shortcomings…the device is inherently of no value to us.” Western Union 1897 "Radio has no future" Lord Kelvin, President, Royal Society 1899 "Everything that can be invented has already been invented.”Director, U.S. Patent Office 1927 “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers 1936 “Television won’t matter in your lifetime or mine.” Rex Lambert, Editor, Radio Tim 1977 “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Ken Olsen, Founder and Chairman DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation, now part of Compaq 1981 “640K ought to be enough for anyone.” Bill Gates
This list was originally posted as a comment on Telecompetitor in response to a story about Chattanooga's 1Gbps service

Christopher Mitchell Tells FCC To Regulate in the Public Interest

On August 19, 2010, I was one of hundreds of people telling the Federal Communications Commission to do its job and regulate in the public interest. My comments focused on the benefits of publicly owned broadband networks and the need for the FCC to ensure states cannot preempt local governments from building networks. My comments: I’ll start with the obvious. Private companies are self-interested. They act on behalf of their shareholders and they have a responsibility to put profits ahead of the public interest. A recent post from the Economist magazine’s technology blog picks up from there: WHY, exactly, does America have regulators? … Regulators, in theory, are more expert than politicians, and less passionate. …They are imperfect; but that we have any regulators at all is a testament … to the idea that companies left to their own devices don't always act in the best interests of the market. They go on to say If companies always agreed with regulators' rules, there would be no need for regulators. The very point of a regulator is to do things that companies don't like, out of concern for the welfare of the market or the consumer. When we talk about broadband, there is a definite gap between what is best for communities and what is best for private companies. Next generation networks are expensive investments that take many years to break even. With that preface, I challenge the FCC to start regulating in the public interest. The FCC does not need a consensus from big companies on network neutrality. It needs to respect the consensus of Americans that do not want our access to the Internet to look like our access to cable television. But while Network Neutrality is necessary, it is not sufficient. The entire issue of Network Neutrality arises out of the failed de-regulation approach of the past decade.

More Chattanooga 1Gbps Thoughts and Coverage

This is a follow-up to my coverage of Chattanooga's 1Gbps announcement and press around it. Firstly, I have to admit I was simultaneously frustrated and amused by reactions to the $350/month price tag for the 1Gbps service, like Russell Nicols' "Chattanooga, Tenn,. Gets Pricey 1 Gbps Broadband." Wow. I encourage everyone to call their ISP to ask what 1Gbps would cost. If you get a sales person who knows what 1Gbps is, you will probably get a hearty laugh. These services are rarely available in our communities… and when they are, the cost is measured by thousands to tens of thousands. Chattanooga's offering, though clearly out of the league most of us are willing to pay for residential connections, is quite a deal. The reaction that it is pricey blows my mind… at $350 for 1Gbps, one is paying $.35 for each megabit. I pay Comcast something like $4.5 for each megabit down and $35 for each megabit up (I actually pay more as I rarely get the speeds advertised). Make no mistake, Chattanooga's 1Gbps is very modestly priced. And I would not expect many communities to duplicate it. Chattanooga has some unique circumstances that allow it to create this deal; the fact that other community fiber networks around the country cannot match it should not be taken as a knock against them. Ultimately, communities must do what is best for them, not merely try to steal the thunder as the best network in the nation. But for the folks who have the best network in the nation, I get the idea they have enjoyed the vast coverage of their creation. The Chattanooga Times Free Press ran a lengthy story titled "Fastest on the web."
"We can never overestimate the amount of bandwidth that will be needed in the future," said jon Kinsey, a Chattanooga developer and former mayor who is working with local entrepreneurs to study ways to capitalize on the faster broadband service.

Chattanooga Announces 1 Gbps Tier

Chattanooga has announced a new level of service, offering 1Gbps to all subscribers in a unique citywide offering. Chattanooga previously led the nation with a 150Mbps tier. Today has been crazy, and lots is being written about this announcement, so I'll highlight stories and saving adding something interesting until later. A quick reminder, we recently wrote about their insistence on taking fiber to everyone, rural and urban. The New York Times started the Choo Choo coverage this morning:
Only Hong Kong and a few other cities in the world offer such lightning-fast service, and analysts say Chattanooga will be the first in the United States to do so. “This makes Chattanooga — a midsized city in the South — one of the leading cities in the world in its digital capabilities,” said Ron Littlefield, the city’s mayor.
Ars Technica offers additional perspective (as usual):
The city hopes this will give it a competitive advantage; on the new website promoting the service, the city's Electric Power Board pitches its country-leading broadband as "a test bed for next generation technology," as "the ultimate tool for entrepreneurs," and a place where "bandwidth is no problem." The consistent theme: you should move to Chattanooga.
(It also reminds us that Chattanooga is far beyond the FCC's timid goals in the National Broadband Plan.) Giga Om has lost the lust for his still-respectable 100Mbps.
EPB says that their 100 Mbps service is now costing $140 a month and the 1 Gbps service will cost $350 a month.
Though Chattanooga has beat Google to the punch, this does little to change Google's goal of even cheaper 1Gbps with open access - the race is not simply to 1Gbps, it is to the future! Those who are putting Google down in some way are grasping for something to say about a stunningly unique offering.

Chattanooga Takes Broadband to the Sticks

Last week I had the good fortune of spending 24 hours in Chattanooga to get a better sense of what the community is doing with their impressive broadband network, EPBFi. It was pretty amazing, especially for an outdoorsy-kinda-guy like me. Chattanooga has an impressive air about it, a place on the up-swing. I'll be writing more about my observations in the coming weeks (my schedule from last week to next week is jam-packed) but I wanted to note that Chattanooga looks to be one incredible place to be in coming years. They offer the fastest broadband in the nation at prices competitive to Comcast (which is to say, they cost a tiny bit more for a ton bigger, better, and faster service). The Chattanoogan Hotel, where I stayed, was fed by community fiber and it was the best hotel broadband I have ever used. The city is committed not just to offering top-notch broadband, but working with people in the community that want to do interesting things. In fact, they are more or less courting people who want to do interesting things. So many communities focus entirely on the need to build the network… not all appreciate the challenges of fully leveraging such a network. When a community has arguably the best network available in the country, they want to let people know. Especially people who want to design the next-generation applications that will take advantage of everyone having extremely fast connectivity. They have plenty of space for co-location and still more room for expansion (they are as professional as you get in this regard). But the reason for this post was a reminder in a local story, "Fiber-optic workers take to the woods." Chattanooga is only 25% of the Electric Power Board's footprint, but everyone served by EPB will have access to the same incredible broadband speeds. Unlike big companies who only roll out services where profits are guaranteed, EPB contends it never considered only serving areas that would be profitable. I asked several times, noting that I frequently see comments from some that people who live in rural areas made a choice and they should simply have to pay more or not be connected as a consequence. Local leaders reject that approach -- a fitting legacy in a state that was famously electrified by one of the most successful government programs of all times.

The State of Broadband - InfoWeek Notes Impressive Muni Networks in Chattanooga and Lafayette

Jonathan Feldman's "The State of Broadband," in a July Information Week cover story, is a breath of fresh air. Too often, these articles are written by someone with little background who extrapolates after discussions with the PR wing of several big companies. But Feldman has a keen grasp of reality and is aware of the many communities that offer far better services than the big companies like Comcast and AT&T.
The state of broadband matters to your organization. There's been considerable consumer interest over the past several years, culminating in an FCC plan announced earlier this year to expand broadband coverage and speeds and promote competition. IT organizations can benefit by staying in touch with those regulatory issues, as well as taking advantage of new technology trends, such as wireless broadband, and partnering with alternative providers and municipal networks that buck the status quo. There are clearly risks in doing so, but taking no action almost guarantees that enterprise IT, with pockets of presence in rural and other nonurban areas, will continue to be held back by low-capacity, high-expense networks.
I was even more impressed when I came upon a chart showing "selected rates for business Internet service for small and home offices." As would be expected, it showed Verizon FiOS, AT&T, Charter, and Comcast. But to give a sense of what is possible outside these major carriers, it showed LUS (community fiber network in Lafayette, LA) Fiber prices -- which completely blew away options from the major carriers. There was nothing even close. He also notes Chattanooga's impressive 150Mbps tier -- which, as I often hasten to note, is not to suggest that community fiber networks are only successful if they can offer such impressive speeds. Chattanooga has access to bigger pipes at lower prices to connect to the Internet than most communities. And they are certainly taking advantage of that local situation! My only quibble with the article lies with the assertion that competition is on the way for most of us. I think competition is on the way for very few of us, absent community investment.