How Super Fast Internet Speeds Turned Chattanooga in a Technology Hub
Super Fast Internet Speeds and the Impact on Technology Development – ( TeK- THinK )
The formerly quiet, rundown, mid-sized city of Chattanooga, found in Tennessee, US, is slowly turning into a magnet for technology companies, thanks to an Internet speed that is 50 times faster than the national average.
There is one important question everybody seems to be asking about this previously unremarkable Tennessee city: is Chattanooga the next American high-tech hub? As the first city in the Western Hemisphere to have gigabit-per-second fiber Internet connection, this is more than a possibility.
The Gigabyte Backbone That Gave Chattanooga A Leg Up
In a remarkable revival six years ago, the Electric Power Board (EPB), a local utility, overhauled Chattanooga’s ramshackle electric grid. However, in a bid to lower power outages, EPB decided to install fiber-optic grid, which made the creation of a wide-spread high-speed fiber network a possibility. It was on this powerful infrastructure that the city was able to have access to 1 gigabit-per-second connectivity.
The gigabit connection Chattanooga now possesses has been the shot in the arm it needed to spring back to life, not just as a choice venue for top companies, but also as a potential tech hub. At the moment, Volkswagen and Amazon have already set up shop in the city. Additionally, locals who were anxious to leave the city for greener pastures are serving an instrumental role in establishing their own companies right in the city. This has greatly helped improve the city’s battered image that includes the unflattering reputation of being the dirtiest city in America. More importantly, it has encouraged further commerce around its high speed Internet connectivity.
Truthfully, technology companies are the most excited about the opportunities Chattanooga has to offer. Everyone, from the mayor, the president, and technology companies that have already based their operations in the city, believes that Chattanooga has the makings of a top tech hub. Take a local incubator company, Company Lab, for example. Company Lab hosts a futuristic program, GigTank, where startups come together to brainstorm on what additional benefits the city’s ultra-powerful Internet connectivity can offer. The benefits of such a program have already helped in critical sectors such as health care.
It is not just local startups that are taking advantage of the immense opportunities that the high-speed Internet has to offer. Talent from other parts of the country is taking advantage of the accommodating environment for startups in the city to leverage its powerful Internet connectivity in order to create thriving tech businesses. Experts also believe that the city will start to attract talented and highly-educated workers, which will make companies willing to tap into this high-quality labor market by setting up their operations in the city.
Time to realize the benefits of fast internet speeds
At the moment, 65,000 homes have access to gigabit-per-second Internet. About 5,000 businesses also have access to this high speed Internet. Startups and small business can, however, get subsidies and even get free Internet through companies that have been set up to specifically help startups find their footing in the burgeoning technology hub that is Chattanooga. The fiber network has already resulted in creation of nearly 90 companies in Chattanooga as well as thousands of jobs. Technology-based businesses have an especially good chance of success in this Tennessee city, which is why Chattanooga is now an American technology hub.