Chattanooga is the first city in the Western Hemisphere to offer 1 Gigabit-per-second fiber internet service to all of its residents and businesses.
The fiber network that permits Gig service was installed by Chattanooga’s publicly-owned electric power system, EPB, to support the most advanced Smart Grid system in the nation. The Smart Grid is the first killer app for Chattanooga’s Gig network, one of many that the community wants to deploy to take advantage of “the Gig.”
At 20-200 times the maximum speed available in other communities, the Gig opens the door to unimagined ways to learn, play and conduct business. So Chattanooga is hosting a series of competitions through the summer of 2012 for students and entrepreneurs to launch future uses of this amazing speed.
At stake in these competitions is up to $300,000 in cash prizes and seed investment capital.
The largest award will bring $100,000 to the entrepreneurial team with the most viable business plan built during a 14-week business accelerator in the Gig Tank.
A $50,000 cash prize will be awarded to the winning student idea launched in the Gig Tank right alongside startup entrepreneurs.
Recently hailed by the New York Times for having America’s fastest Internet (up to 1 gigabit per second available to every home and business in a 600 square mile area) and by Outside Magazine as “The Best Town Ever,” Chattanooga, Tennessee combines advanced technology infrastructure with a thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere that’s just minutes from mountains, rivers and other outdoor playgrounds.
Enjoy a walkable city with close access to some of the nation’s top venues for road and mountain biking, hiking, white water rafting, hangliding and rock climbing to name a few.
And taste the cultural offerings in Chattanooga, including the arts, sustainability and food economy, a full cultural calendar, museums, theater, live music, and lots more.
Take a walk through downtown neighborhoods to find boutiques, restaurants, coffeehouses, galleries, salons and other independent, one-of-a-kind small businesses owned by passionate locals who will very likely be the faces you’ll see inside their establishments. You’ll also find two historic bridges, early 20th century buildings, a park with a carousel, and more.
In recent years, Chattanooga’s signature lifestyle and focus on environmental stewardship has helped attract $4 billion in foreign direct investment including a Volkswagen auto assembly plant.
Now, Chattanooga is putting the finishing touches on the largest and most advanced Smart Grid in the nation and using its gig network to pioneer a model for what other cities could become when bandwidth is no barrier.
The Gig Prizes and all of the Gig City’s efforts to explore the future of hyper-fast Internet applications are made possible through the generous support of dozens of organizations within the community of Chattanooga and the community of the Internet.