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Knoxville, Tennessee's Knoxville Utility Board (KUB) says it has completed the first phase of its ambitious broadband deployment, bringing affordable fiber access to more than 50,000 premises in this city of 192,000 – many for the very first time.
When we last wrote about KUB back in 2021, the city's utility had just received approval to build what will eventually be the biggest municipal broadband network in the U.S.
All told, the $702 million project, known as KUB Fiber, aims to deliver affordable fiber to 210,000 households across KUB’s 688-square-mile service area, taking between seven and ten years to complete.
KUB says that the first phase of fiber deployment involved the installation of more than 1,100 miles of fiber infrastructure. Upgraded users have the option of three tiers of service: symmetrical gigabit per second (Gbps) service for $65 a month; symmetrical 2.5 Gbps service for $150 a month; and symmetrical 10 Gbps service for $300 a month.
KUB’s service tiers do not come with usage caps or long-term contracts. Unlike many municipal operations, KUB is also offering locals the option of bundling television service.
KUB was driven to expand access after more than a decade of local frustration at the slow speeds, high prices, and spotty coverage caused by a notable lack of competition between regional telecom monopolies, AT&T and Comcast (Xfinity). Both companies have attempted to lock down customers via long-term contracts ahead of the network’s completion.
As one local resident said:
“Comcast thanked me for being a customer for 23 years, but it's not because I've had the option to go anywhere else. They have had 23 years to fix these problems and they haven't."