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The thing that is left out of the EPB conversation is the amount of federal funding they got. While it does make a good case study, what is impressive is the smaller cities that are beginning to roll it out even in states where laws ban/limit it.

Like Opelika Power in Alabama: http://www.opelikapower.com/.

For my startup broadbandnow.com we've been emailing every mayor in the US offering free statistics about coverage, fiber penetration, etc in their local area along with how they can bring faster speeds to their area.

So far the campaign is going well, we've emailed almost 300 mayors, but after countless phone calls and email changes with city officials, the disheartening reality is that most cities have 2 options to bring faster interent to their area.

1 - Install their own network 2 - Beg incumbent providers to increase their speed / coverage.

I think it's still a few years out, but I'm forecasting a huge slew of crowd funded or community backed providers entering the market to fill the gaps in coverage. (Our goal is to be a part of that movement)

Also the funding they got ($111.5 million) was from the DOE under the auspices of building out a "Smart Grid" [1]. Doubtful that a full fiber connection to the home is required for these applications.

[1] https://www.epb.net/news/news-archive/epb-chattanooga-awarde...

EPB does have a very nice "smart grid" that uses fiber optic lines to connect to stations positioned all over their network that monitor the condition of the connected grid and can rapidly shut off power to a very localized area. They realized that they still had quite a large bit of bandwidth remaining, and decided to start an ISP.[1]

1- This is all based on what I recall from conversations with EPB higher-ups when I spent a day chatting with them for a school event.

Yeah. I think the folks above have it backwards. Remember that EPB stands for Electric Power Board (90% sure of this). They then knew that the logical thing to follow from providing these services was to provide the "new electricity" aka Internet connectivity.

also, if you're really interested, New America Foundation recently published a good study on public broadband options http://www.newamerica.net/sites/newamerica.net/files/policyd...

Update: Here is a relevant post outlining the 19 states with laws limiting municipal broadband.


Interesting name for your start up, any relationship to the company that used to be based in Irving Texas?

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