It’s been an ongoing debate, now focused on State vs Federal rights. Should the FCC have the right to circumvent state law, to help smaller communities provide broadband data to their residents.
Chattanooga TN has become a poster child for how to rollout gigabit fiber paid with public funds, beating Google Fiber to gigabit speeds in 2010, but state law prevents the project from expanding into other communities. Four years after Chattanooga reached gigabit, most large cable broadband markets still struggle to reach one tenth the network speed of “Gig City”, and most consumers pay significantly more for slower broadband.
The city could also become the first piece of a new smart energy grid for the country.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke and Harold DePriest, CEO of EPB (Chattanooga’s electric company which manages the broadband project) took to Reddit to answer questions about how the project has impacted their residents. It’s an interesting discussion, delving into the politics of dealing with the FCC and State governments, but if your data is slow in your area, seeing speedtests like the one linked from the AMA might break your heart a little bit.
You can see a video detailing Chatanooga’s efforts to build a smarter energy grid below.