Phoenix Center Skewers Chattanooga Mayor’s Claims for Muni Broadband

By: John Eggerton

Phoenix Center chief economist George Ford has taken issue with a story in The Tennessean newspaper in which Chattanooga, Tenn., Mayor Andy Berke touted the economic benefits of its municipal fiber network.

A federal appeals court recently rejected the FCC‘s preemption of a Tennessee state law limiting the expansion of that city network, but the story preceded that decision and made no mention of it. Continue reading

FCC, States Square Off in Court Over Municipal Broadband

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for...

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By John Eggerton

Just days after the Tennessee legislature voted down a municipal broadband expansion bill, the state was squaring off with the FCC in federal court over the issue of municipal broadband buildouts and the state’s ability to limit them.

After FCC chairman Tom Wheeler signaled the FCC had the power to preempt state laws blocking the expansion of municipal broadband, the cities of Wilson, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn. petitioned the FCC to do just that. A divided commission complied in March 2015, and Tennessee and North Carolina then filed suit. Continue reading

CES 2016: Why the IoT needs fiber-optic broadband to succeed

There is a misconception that the Internet of Things requires a huge amount of bandwidth to the customer, and this panel continued to propagate that myth. 4K TV and telesurgery are not IoT applications. Most “things” connected to the network are sensors that require a small amount of bandwidth. Even aggregated, only a couple of Mbit/s of bandwidth is required even for video sensors. EBP mentions their SCADA network that consist of several sensors providing periodic small quantities of data in realtime. What is more vital to the IoT is latency and security more than broadband. Many IoT applications like SCADAs need extremely low latency in order to be effective. All applications require a focus on security. Many of the devices connected to the network will be inexpensive consumer devices made by several manufacturers. It is doubtful whether these manufacturers will have the expertise to implement adequate protection and encryption. The recent discovery of the vulnerability in the Ring doorbell is an example.

I can get by with a 56 Kbit/s modem for all of my IoT devices in my home if I exclude the video applications. Current network access technologies are sufficient to meet these needs. What is required for IoT are service classes different from best-effort to support the real time and near-real time applications. The fiber-based network is necessary to support the bandwidth and flexibility required over the long-term to support high bandwidth applications like multiple UHD video streams only my old colleague Kevin Morgan from ADTRAN properly addressed this need.


A panel of fiber broadband experts speaking at CES 2016 in Las Vegas this week said the Internet of Things (IoT) will not only benefit from fiber-optic broadband, it will require it. Continue reading

Chattanooga Is Offering Internet Faster Than Google Fiber | WIRED

Move over SALISBURY, NORTH CAROLINA . Another city is getting a blistering 10 gigabit fiber Internet service. Say hello to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Today the Chattanooga Electric Power Board, the city-owned power utility, says that it is now offering 10 gigabit connections—nearly 1,000 faster than the average broadband connection in the US—to every business and residence in the city for about $300 a month. It will also offer three and five gigabit speed connections in addition its existing one gigabit service. Continue reading