ILSR Congratulates Chattanooga on Nation's Largest Fiber Broadband Network

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Christopher Mitchell

ILSR Congratulates Chattanooga on Nation's Largest Fiber Broadband Network

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Institute for Local Self-Reliance
(ILSR) is pleased to congratulate Chattanooga, Tennessee, for building the
largest publicly owned, full fiber network in the United States.  Chattanooga's public power utility,
EPB, began offering telephone, broadband, and television services on its new
fiber-to-the-home network on September 15.

This broadband network will allow smart-grid applications for the
electrical utility as well as offer local support, faster speeds for both
uploading and downloading, and create a competitive environment for

Christopher Mitchell, the Director of the Telecommunications as
Commons Initiative at ILSR was excited at the announcement.  "Every year, we see more communities
building what many companies refuse to: fiber-optic networks offering fast and
affordable connections.  This
network will cut subscriber bills, increase broadband speeds, and create jobs."

Mitchell is a national expert on publicly owned broadband
networks.  An author of several
case studies and reports, he also maintains, a web site that
tracks news in the community network sector.

The United States has steadily fallen behind peer nations on
international broadband rankings over the past decade, something Mitchell
attributes to a lack of public investment in networks.  "Too many communities have waited for
the private sector to build this essential infrastructure even as most
companies have found it insufficiently profitable to invest.  To remain competitive internationally,
we need the public sector to step up broadband investments."

Mitchell has previously demonstrated that publicly owned networks
offer some of the fastest broadband connections in the country, while keeping
access affordable to all. 

Though it will not be finished for a few years, Chattanooga's
broadband network already is already available to 17,000 people and businesses
- a number that will expand to 100,000 within a year.  More information about the new Chattanooga network is
available here:
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The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.

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