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Networking The Internet United States

Gigabit Speeds At Home In the US 249

An anonymous reader writes "The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga is preparing to offer 1 Gigabit speeds at home by the end of the year. 'The city-owned utility announced today it will boost its broadband service to 1 Gigabit throughout its service territory by the end of 2010. Such a connection will be 200 times faster than the average broadband speed in America and the fastest of any US city.' The NY Times reports that the service will cost $350 per month. 'Mr. DePriest of EPB does not expect brisk demand for the one-gigabit service anytime soon. So why offer it? "The simple answer is because we can," he said.'"
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Gigabit Speeds At Home In the US

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  • by ManiaX Killerian ( 134390 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:02PM (#33565738) Homepage

    $3,5 per mbps is pretty close to the wholesale prices - and it would be pretty hard to get that for just 1 gbps. Where's the catch ?:)

    • by bpsbr_ernie ( 1121681 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:39PM (#33566118) Homepage
      The catch... They'll announce a cap of 5 GB of data. Once you hit the cap, there will be a per MB charge. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bbn ( 172659 )

      It is $0,35 per Mbps. Not even Cogent sells it that low.

      The catch? There does not need to be one. If only one user in three will misuse the line, but the other two use it reasonably, they will still come out with a profit.

      In fact, it is too expensive. Where I live we have 500 Mbps internet on a shared connection. We pay what equals 5 USD/month. At any given time I can transfer with 200-300 Mbps because people do not use the net as much as you would think.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        " If only one user in three will misuse the line, but the other two use it reasonably, they will still come out with a profit."

        What do you mean, "misuse"? Using it as per the contract conditions is "misuse" in your book?

        But there is a "catch": at $350/month (almost) no one is going to use it. So even if it produces slight loses they can go to the marketing budget: "Electric Power Board of Chattanooga: the fastest Internet connection you home can get".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Worth noting is that if you actually configure a package with their basic phone service (or some of the tv packages), the price DROPS to $317/mo (!). Check it out here, []
  • More info (Score:4, Informative)

    by auximage77 ( 1544557 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:03PM (#33565750)
    Additional verbage. []
    • Re:More info (Score:5, Informative)

      by auximage77 ( 1544557 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:07PM (#33565800)
      and before people tout about the high price, other tiers are available. []
      • Those prices are still higher than comcast service is.

        • Re:More info (Score:5, Insightful)

          by vijayiyer ( 728590 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:16PM (#33565888)

          Everyone bitches about Comcast's service, but then isn't willing to pay for quality service. We shouldn't be surprised that we're always in a race to the bottom.

          • Re:More info (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:44PM (#33566160)

            We, as in the USA net services, are never in a race to the bottom. We have no competition, almost all markets are locked into duopolies. You get a cable company offering, a crap DSL offering, and if you're really lucky, FiOS. There's very little impetus to upgrade service levels, when they do they're only trying to get you onto a dearer packaged deal.

            A race to the bottom is when you have real competition in a market and all the companies have to actually compete for our business. That means reducing profit margins and upping service, just to stay level. That is something we will never see in the US. This is precisely why the US is tumbling down the internet performance league tables year upon year. Stop the duopoly crap and let others, including local municipalities, get involved. Only then will the consumer see a win.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Shakrai ( 717556 ) *

              a crap DSL offering

              What makes DSL "crap"? It's usually cheaper than cable and if the ISP knows their stuff you'll always get what you pay for. When I had Verizon DSL I got 100% of my bandwidth 24/7. By contrast, I've never been able to peg Roadrunner except at 3am. Their "turbo" tier is a joke too -- I can't peg the standard tier during normal hours, why the hell would I pay more money to get more bandwidth I can only use at 3am?

              DSL might be slower than cable but it's a perfectly viable option for many (most?) people.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by theaveng ( 1243528 )

              You get a cable company offering, a crap DSL offering,

              Japan is the world's second fastest country (over 10 Mbit/s average), and everyone is wired with this "crap DSL" of which you speak. Some have upgraded to Fiber, but DSL is the dominant techology.

        • Re:More info (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdo ... g ['kis' in gap]> on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:18PM (#33565922)

          They're symmetric, though, which might not matter for many people, but I find nice. The 30 Mbps lowest tier is 30 Mbps each way, whereas Comcast's 30 Mbps service is 30 down, 7 up.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jd ( 1658 )

          Uhhh, no. Xfinity 50 Mb/s speeds cost $100. A total pipe of 1 Gb/s will therefore cost $2,000 per month, which equals $24,000 per year. A Cisco router capable of handling 20-way multipath will add $14,000 to this. So for a year's service at equal capacity via Comcast, you'll need to pay $38,000. This is NOT cheaper than what this metropolitan network is charging.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Aqualung812 ( 959532 )
          Bullshit. Show me a Comcast service that has over 20mb upload, let along 50m, 100m, or 100m. Not everyone cares about download more than upload ability.
          • by cawpin ( 875453 )
            While I'm in no way a Comcast fan they are rolling out 50mbps service in and around the Indianapolis area. One of my long time friends worked there up until recently and saw the service tested.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 )
          That's because comcast can give you really great deals when their customer service budget is ~$0 and they provide somewhere around 40% of the service that you pay for.
        • by Svartalf ( 2997 )

          Heh... Perhaps- but can you GET that sort of service from Comcast without establishing a business account (and thereby those prices...)?

          Probably not.

          The truth of the matter is this: You are getting a fractional T3's worth of bandwidth with the corresponding latencies for 1/6-1/10th the cost. It's comparable to what I'm spending with Verizon for a similar level of service on a business account.

        • Chattanooga's $58 for 30 Mbit/s is not bad.
          Comcast where I live is not that cheap.
          Neither is Verizon

        • by h4rr4r ( 612664 )

          Maybe that is why comcast sucks so bad?

          I am switching from Time Warner to FIOS. It costs a little more, but maybe my netflix will do hd most of the time, or not drop the connection in the middle of a show.

        • Those prices are still higher than comcast service is.

          TWC just jacked my rate up (which I will cancel if they won't lower it) to $48.99/mo for 6 Mbit. This place is offering 30 Mbit for $57.99/mo. Sounds like a good deal, to me.

          Of course, AT&T offers 6 Mbit DSL for $20/mo... but apparently my apartment is too far away to get service.

      • Re:More info (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kindbud ( 90044 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:59PM (#33566344) Homepage

        The "high" price? Only thing "high" is you. What are you smoking, that $350/mo for 1Gbit seems "high?"

        Split among 10 people, that's $35 pp for 100 Mbit. How much does your cable, DSL, or fiber provider charge for 100 mbit service? Do they even offer it?

        Split among 100 people, it's $3.50 pp for 10 Mbit. How much does your cable, DSL or fiber provider charge for 10 mbit service?

        This service is almost unbelievably cheap!

        • by TheSync ( 5291 )

          What are you smoking, that $350/mo for 1Gbit seems "high?"

          Indeed, I am aware of companies that are "on net" (i.e. have fiber, only need to ass OADM to get additional service) with large carriers that can't get that pricing.

          Which means, there is no way anyone could provide Internet connectivity of 1 Gbps for $350/month without losing money.

          Thus, I suspect you aren't getting 1 Gbps of Internet connectivity. You might be able to ping the first upstream router at 1 Gbps, maybe...

        • Split among 10 people, that's $35 pp for 100 Mbit. How much does your cable, DSL, or fiber provider charge for 100 mbit service? Do they even offer it?

          It's actually even better than 100Mbps per person sharing it, as long as each of the 10 persons uses it in a reasonably intermittent fashion. Everybody can get more than their share some of the time as long as nobody gets their whole share all the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hedwards ( 940851 )
          I'm willing to bet that the ToS prohibit such connection sharing.
      • by rsborg ( 111459 )

        and before people tout about the high price, other tiers are available.

        Yeah, looked at the site, and wow, 50Mb/s internet (symmetric!) is cheaper than my complete-shit Comcast 20Mb/s (asymmetric, 4Mb/s up... with "powerboost" aka, non-sustained). In fact their cheapest plan is better (symmetric vs. asymmetric) than even the best Comcast plan.

        I envy Chatanooga residents.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by oldspewey ( 1303305 )
      Strange - that link makes absolutely no mention of "blazing fast porn downloads." Have they even done their market research?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jd ( 1658 )

        They did, yes. The porn testers have not, ummm, returned yet.

  • ... the Chattanooga Choo-Choo!
  • 200 times faster? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Yvan256 ( 722131 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:07PM (#33565802) Homepage Journal

    Get 199 friends and split the bill to get 5Mbps for 1.75$US per month!

    • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:35PM (#33566074)

      Get 199 friends

      This is slashdot. There goes that idea. ;)

    • Not including the price of the infrastructure involved in splitting it, of course.

      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

        How hard can it be to have 200 wi-fi channels not interfering with each other?

        To be honest, though, it would be a really good idea for an apartment block.

        • You'd probably also have to deal with all the people claiming the wi-fi is giving them cancer and autism.
          Actually, I used to live in a kibbutz which is a sort of semirural small town sort of thing, around 900 people in that specific one and they dealt with the ISP collectively, only got off dialup around 2003 though.

          • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

            If you're splitting a gigabit connection between 20-200 users, better go with a wired solution. Faster, more secure, less interference, less problems.

      • by jd ( 1658 )

        Just about any intelligent switch will do the trick. It's not like you need anything sophisticated.

    • by Tawnos ( 1030370 )

      Why not get 20 friends and get 50Mbps for 17.50 each month? In other words, convince your neighbors to go in with you...

  • No, but (Score:2, Insightful)

    by irright ( 1369385 )
    I'd certainly pay $35 for 100 meg though.
    • They have that option at $170.
  • by T Murphy ( 1054674 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:08PM (#33565816) Journal
    If you could split it 7 ways, that would be a 18 MB line each at $50, which is a good deal compared to the semi-monopoly prices you usually get. Of course, this could vary depending on how close to a gigabit the line will actually get you (although it shouldn't be worse than the big ISPs, and may be significantly better).
    • Splitting it would be a huge win. You'd get surge access to a Gbit of bandwidth, and if everyone was "surging" at the same time, you'd get 18MB/s as you said. Considering I pay $30/month for less than 1MB/s..... Yes, I'd jump on this if I could split it.


      • That makes two- just need 5 more, one of them knowing where to get a couple thousand miles of ethernet cable for cheap...
      • If I could get that anywhere in Alberta (Canada) I'd sleep with it's foul-smelling, unibrow-ed best friend on the off chance it'd hang-out with me more.

        Heck, considering Telus/Shaw's *up to 1mbit* = 300kbit marketing crap I'd even stay and cuddle, then buy it dinner the next night.


      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by BitZtream ( 692029 )

        Yea, its a great idea till you realize they probably don't have more than 200GB/s total data transfer capability out of their organizations infrastructure.

        So awesome, you and your friends can split a 1GB connection to the power companies network, where you'll be sharing 200GB of their bandwidth between several thousand other 1GB connections.

        This isn't a $350 for 1GB of available bandwidth all the time. Its $350 for bursting up to 1GB assuming they have the external bandwidth available, which will not happe

  • At least until the telco and cable <strike>monopolies</strike>services can <strike>buy</strike>get to enough legislators to block them.
  • That's great, but I mean, according to this [] (which I admit I don't know how accurate it is) it seems to indicate that the US is still pretty low in terms of overall connection speed.

    Why does north america suck so much when it comes to technical infrastructure? It's kind of irritating, especially when this is apparantely the hub of the economic first world.

    • Re:Awesome.. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Beardo the Bearded ( 321478 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:43PM (#33566158)

      There's no incentive to upgrade if the consumers are forced to pick from amongst X number of similarly-priced oligopoloies. I didn't spell that right, but I don't think most people know what that word means anyway so fuck it.

      Anyway, in Canada there's not even that. I can get cable from Shaw or ADSL from Telus. Those are exactly all of my choices unless I want to go to dial-up.

      • by iONiUM ( 530420 )
        My choices are Rogers or Bell. I know your pain ;)
      • Most places are Duopolies. Cable or Phone internet. It's like choosing between the Democrat or Republican duopoly - it makes no difference and there's no real choice.
        • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

          It's even worst where I live. It's either cable via Télébec or dial-up via Télébec.

          • Can't you get dialup from somebody else like Netscape ISP or NetZero or Juno? The first company charges me just $7/month and the latter two are free (upto ten hours).

            • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

              Both NetZero and Juno has extremely similar websites and both give me "Based on the phone number provided, we do not have any local access numbers in your area."

              Unless things changed since I searched three years ago, there's no choice at all where I live.

    • according to this (which I admit I don't know how accurate it is) it seems to indicate that the US is still pretty low in terms of overall connection speed.

      Lying with statistics. According to speedtest:

      1 Russian Federation
      2 United States / European Union (a virtual tie)
      3 Canada
      4 Australia
      5 Brazil
      6 Mexico
      7 China

  • This here is Huckleberry Hound, tracking down what's coming up in broadband. And here's Pixie and Dixie to tell us what's in the box.

    What's in the box boys?

    A gigabit modem adapter.

    Well how about that? I wonder if it works.

    Bye bye Jynxie []
  • by Glasswire ( 302197 ) <<glasswire> <at> <>> on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:32PM (#33566054) Homepage

    >> 'Mr. DePriest of EPB does not expect brisk demand for the one-gigabit service anytime soon. So why offer it?
    Because there is a huge opportunity for resale or inclusion in basic services of multi-tenant (residential or business).
    Give 10 businesses 100MB/s for $50 / month and you're making money or for offer it free and it's a cheap inducement lease space
    Give 100 tenants 10MB/s for $10 / month and you're making more money or for offer free and it's a cheap inducement to renters

    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      Ten businesses screaming: Our Internet's down!!!
      Reseller: OMG OMG
      ISP: Um, I see a single basic support plan to your building. It'll go in the low-priority queue with the others.
      Reseller: Uh oh...

      If it's one thing most businesses can't function well without anymore, it's Internet. Hell, with so many companies on laptops and servers on UPS/generators it's possible even a power failure will cause less productivity loss. I'd care much less about the 1 Gbps speed and far more about the SLA...

    • It is easy to offer gigabit speeds. You provide a line that signals at a gigabit, probably just Ethernet. The hard part is having the infrastructure above that which can maintain it. This is particularly the case if you have multiple lines.

      My bet is that at that price, they have insufficient upstream. So you sell your gig line out and you discover that really you are lucky to get 100mbit at the best of times. Thus your customers are getting less than they paid for and so on.

  • If you include taxes and whatnot, I pay only slightly less than that now for a dedicated T1 with a four-hour downtime SLA. I'd trade the SLA for those kinds of speeds.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This just shows what can happen when private companies are allowed to compete without regulation to provide services much more cheaply and efficiently than the gov... oops, hang on, I'll try again.

    ...government bureaucracies try to implement services that could be done more cheaply and efficiently than the private secto...wait a second...


  • Falling Prices (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JackSpratts ( 660957 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @05:49PM (#33566226) Homepage

    I can see this subscribed to by small businesses with data heavy uploads (film production companies, ad agencies etc). Spread across an office of 20 employees, $350 is peanuts when each worker is getting 50mps, assuming it's symmetrical.

    However I think the price for the gigabit service will drop to something hotly competitive like $99 within 36 months as the electric utility begins poaching customers from the established players when it hits home that selling access to information is more profitable than burning coal.

    It wouldn't surprise me if shareholders and even regulators eventually order a spinoff of this tail-wagging-the-dog broadband division, and it winds up with a cable co, where it all gets dialed back to the current offerings.

    - js.

  • Read []

    Now, I know this isn't the same deal, but it sure makes the concept proposed in the article a much more attractive idea for subdivisions and local neighborhoods. I know that my apartment management company would probably go for this as soon as it became available. It makes our building more attractive to renters, and with around 30 units, it means they can either tack on the extra $10-15/mo to rent or simply include it as a perk for living there. Granted, I would still prefer to have my own personal co

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @06:08PM (#33566462)


    Simply recruit 10 neighbors and hook them to a 10 port router and wallah! At 35 bucks plus taxes, it's cheaper than many solutions and the speed is almost guaranteed to be superb 100% of the time. How about that?

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Monday September 13, 2010 @06:12PM (#33566510)

    how much bandwidth per node / headend backend?

    • Geeks get too obsessed with the big pipe numbers and don't stop to think the costs of backing all that up whit the infrastructure upstream you need to maintain that speed. That is something I've observed is common in many of the countries with the really fast Internet. I remember a guy from Japan posting on Slashdot how great his 100mbit Internet was, he could download a CD in about 10 minutes. I had to point out that is not 100mbit, that is 10mbit. Nice and fast, but same as I was getting on my connection

  • Aaaaand, what's the pipe they have to the rest of the world? I don't care if I've got 1Gb to my provider. The rest of the internet isn't going to make that experience any better than 1Mb... In many cases I find that 1Mb isn't any better than 56Kb.. There are just too many factors to make this a non-issue. Fix the upstream and maybe I'll get excited about the link to my house.

  • 350.00 per month is more than most consumers are willing to plunk down. I don't see myself spending that kind of money. It is more practical for a business that needs that kind of bandwidth.
  • Because, you know... CAPS ARE ANNOYING!


  • Yay for unrestricted, vigorous competition between telecom companies in the good ol' U.S. of A.! We're number one, we're number one!

    Wait... what does "city-owned utility" mean?

  • reached in 33 minutes! Cool!

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost