Want the fastest net speeds in America? Move to Chattanooga

It looks like Chattanooga, Tennessee's fourth largest city with 170,000 residents, is going to be the first city in the U.S. to offer one-gigabit-per-second internet upload and download speeds to the general public. Yep. Chattanooga.

So, why Chattanooga, of all places? (I mean, not that there's anything wrong with it, but it feels like someone threw a one-gig-per-second dart at a map of the U.S.) According to Ron Littlefield, the city's mayor, it's akin to his very own field of dreams: he's building it, now he hopes people come.

"It's like any other leading technology, people will invent ways to use it," he said. "And having it here will bring those inventive minds to focus in Chattanooga."

The speeds to be offered in Chattanooga are 250 times greater than the American average, according to city officials. Also higher than the national average: the $350 monthly bill.

The mayor himself won't be using the new service as his sub-$60 a month, 30Mbps connection is already "lightning fast," though he could see it revolutionizing businesses in, say, the engineering and medical fields.

We don't doubt that, but we always can't say we're not jealous. Apparently the city was already upgrading its power grid and EPB, the Chattanooga-owned power company, decided to go for 1Gbps connection speeds, something that EPB CEO Harold DePriest came at "a fairly minimal additional cost to us."

Still, being America's first to offer to the general public for so high a cost? Well, as DePriest says, "Maybe we're the only ones silly enough to do it."


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