EPB officials announced today their plans to expedite the deployment of their 100% fiber optics network.
“There are two primary components to building this system. One component is taking longer than we thought and the other is happening much faster than we anticipated”, said Harold DePriest, President and CEO. “The end result is that services will be available to the entire cities of Chattanooga, East Ridge and Red Bank by summer of 2010.”
DePriest says once in place, EPB’s fiber optic network will be the largest of its kind in the country.
“I am proud of Chattanooga for many things – including this fiber optic Smart Grid initiative. We are truly on the leading edge.” said Mayor Ron Littlefield.
EPB will use the network as the communications backbone for its Smart Grid. The Smart Grid will allow the utility to work more efficiently, restore outages faster and offer customers more options in the future.
Additionally, EPB will use the 100% fiber optic network to offer communications products and services to homes and businesses in their service area.
“When I was mayor, we introduced an initiative to provide broadband to underserved businesses throughout Chattanooga, so I’m thrilled EPB has taken that concept and created a more successful and transformative model than we ever imagined,” U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said. “Over time, this technological investment will no doubt stimulate additional economic growth for the region as high-tech companies from around the world look to Chattanooga as a place of operation.”
The company also announced today that EPB Telecom, the division of the company responsible for sales and operation of the new communications services, will now do business as EPB Fiber Optics. New product names were also announced – including Fi-Speed InternetSM, Fi TVSM and Fi PhoneSM.
Katie Espeseth, Vice President of EPB Fiber Optics, demonstrated the Fi TV product.
“It’s my pleasure to introduce the Fi TV experience today,” says Katie. “Our 100% fiber optic network provides an experience superior to what other providers can offer, including incredible picture quality, a user-friendly, intuitive channel guide, Multi-Room DVR and unlimited possibilities for the future.”
EPB is currently testing their fiber optic services internally and with a handful of employee and customer testers. They will expand testing to include more volunteer testers throughout the month. The company hopes to offer the communications products and services on a wider scale in July.