back to article Chattanooga mayor credits muni broadband with aiding city's revival

The mayor of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is crediting the city's recent economic surge to a decision to defy national ISPs and build its own broadband network. Speaking at an event in his city hosted by the Fiber to the Home Council, Mayor Andy Berke said that over the last three years, unemployment in Chattanooga has fallen from …

  1. Chris G

    Is that the Chatanooga You tube?

    In other news;

    So Broadband good! living behind sandbags not so good!

  2. Youngone Silver badge

    Not easy

    If I remember correctly, Chattanooga had an uphill battle getting their fibre installed.

    The incumbent ISP's used every dirty trick in the book to stop it, and there were multiple court battles.

    This gives a quick overview

    No wonder everyone hates Comcast.

    1. Dadmin

      Re: Not easy

      That is how they keep almost everyone out of their way, so they can continue to gouge the living shit out of consumers; lawyers. And the stupid customer pays for those lawyers to keep the "business safe." How fucking ironic.

      "telcos and some [bribed] lawmakers [pretend to] see city-operated broadband services as an unnecessary government incursion into markets already [badly] served by private-sector companies" even when the so-called service is slow, overpriced, and the only option.

      Basically, big telcos will do anything and everything, including bribing officials at US$6000 each, to keep their shitty levels of service low, their infrastructure old and rotting, and charges to access it at an all-time high.

      True story, I recently divorced the living shit out of AT&T and when I went to pay my last bill all their systems were down. I laughed and asked them how late there were going to be open... dopes.

  3. beep54

    Say what?

    "... an unnecessary government incursion into markets already served by private-sector companies."


    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Say what?

      30 miles down the road from me, Ashland, Oregon has it's own fiber network. They get 3 times the bandwidth that I get from Charter for the same price. So.. yeah.. we're being served... probably as the dessert course.

      1. Swarthy Silver badge

        Re: Say what?

        Cable Companies DO service their customers!

        The same way the bull services the cow

  4. ecofeco Silver badge

    It has also, however, fuelled a backlash from telcos and some lawmakers who see city-operated broadband services as an unnecessary government incursion into markets already served by private-sector companies.

    Fuck 'em. Fuck 'em to death. This what happens when you don't learn the lesson of Marie Antoinette.

    1. Queasy Rider

      Comcast et al, "Let them eat sh*t."

  5. Oengus


    "government incursion into markets already served by private-sector companies"

    If the market was really served by private-sector there would have been no opportunity for the city-operated service. It is always the case that the private sector will scream over the intervention when they are not prepared to take a financial "risk" and invest in infrastructure.

    This is the argument that the Liberal/National coalition tried to use against the NBN in OZ saying "If the demand is there private sector competition will see the network installed." It never happened. The existing duopoly (or triopoly) "decided" to milk their customers and only invest where there was a low cost/high return opportunity.

    1. Hollerithevo

      Re: Really

      The myth that the business sector will serve all needs well and competitively is just that. Over and over again we can give examples of where business (in this case, telcos, but pick your fave) gives poor service at a high price. When are people going to vote for real service by actually voting for it? Let's see government as a commonwealth of interests that should and must use our pooled donations to it for the good of us all, i.e. spend taxes where it can help. Chattanooga seems to have achieved it.

  6. a_yank_lurker

    City ISP

    Too often the cable and ISPs have a legal monopoly in given city/county in the US. So the question is for a city/county, which is better run their own, own but hire someone to manage, grant a monopoly, or let anyone who wants set up shop. It seems some cities have decided if they are getting crappy service they should keep the money in the city instead of having some leave it. At least the voters can have a say.

  7. GrandTour

    I live in Chattanooga, EPB fibre/fiber is definitely the fastest internet and they are leading the way in the use of SmartGrid and GPON technology. Countries from all over the world come visit EPB to learn how to deploy their own SmartFiberGrid.

    To all Major ISP's, if you cannot serve what the people want and you're doing a terrible job of what you are offering (and it can be proven by independent researchers) All exclusive and monopoly rights are null and void! No one should have to suffer the horror stories of Comcast/Verizon's failures either!

    I filed a formal complaint to At&t when they blocked EPB's expansion to under-served communities surrounding Chattanooga. To At&t - stop blocking innovation, all it does is give your company bad press and no one will like you as much (or you make the whole nation angry at you... oh wait, stop trying to be Comcast)

    The fact is, At&t/Comcast/Charter should be competing to do fiber service as it's time to drop copper, switch to lightspeed and stop being evil! No one cares about monopolies anymore, all we want is fast reliable internet!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      No one cares about monopolies anymore, all we want is fast reliable internet!

      The stockholders care as monopolies can charge all the market will bear and that means "profit".

  8. Tikimon

    Chattanooga has worked pretty hard to bootstrap itself

    It used to be this forgettable little town, a place you drove through on your way somewhere else. They had a sprinkling of fading 50's-era attractions that were losing relevance in This Modern World. Not much to it.

    They built an amazing aquarium. They cleaned up their downtown and populated it with nice shops and restaurants. They refurbished an old pedestrian bridge cross the river, tying it into a new riverwalk and parks. Those are just the moves I can think of.

    Now Chattanooga is a tourist draw for the whole Southeast. The downtown area is bustling until long after dark, with families strolling and enjoying themselves. It's been an amazing transformation. I live in Atlanta, and I've taken visiting family and friends to Chattanooga for the day many times. Atlanta built their own aquarium (not as good and in a dodgy area) trying to claw back some of those tourist dollars.

    Gotta give 'em credit for working hard to modernize and create some appeal!

  9. ma1010

    Correction needed

    It has also, however, fuelled a backlash from telcos and some lawmakers who see city-operated broadband services as an unnecessary government incursion into markets already served by private-sector companies

    ...unfair competition from an entity not dedicated solely to unjust enrichment by fleecing consumers of their last penny while providing service less capable than that in many third-world countries.

    There, FTFY

  10. Bakana

    Savings in Broadband create Prosperity on Main Street.

    One of the reasons the city might be doing better is that the extra Money subscribers have as a result of Dropping their overpriced lousy service will, with 99% certainty, end up being spent in various businesses all over the city's Main Street.

    Megacorporations ship the money off to "Headquarters" and Wall Street.

    Local Companies keep the money at home and often spend it just down the road at Other Local businesses. In Economics, it's called the Multiplier Effect.

    From Wikipedia:

    the local multiplier effect focuses on the greater local economic return generated by money spent at locally-owned independent businesses compared to corporate chains or other absentee-owned businesses. Localisation advocates cite the multiplier effect as one reason, of many, for consumers to do more of their business locally.

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