Chattanooga in the US mid West introduced city broadband in 2008 in the face of legal challenges from the existing cable operators.
The operators lost in the courts and were forced to compete with the local, city owned power company’s network.
Now Wired reports Chattanooga is upping the ante by increasing the available throughput of their network to 10Gb.
While that’s good news for those businesses and households in Chattanooga that need those speeds, there’s a much more important effect that Wired points out.
Municipal broadband providers are raising expectations nationwide for what good Internet service means, forcing commercial providers to improve their infrastructure. And by increasing the amount of bandwidth available, they could be setting the stage for the creation of new, more bandwidth-hungry applications. This is how better service goes from a “nice-to-have” to a “you’d-better-have” for the country’s recalcitrant cable companies.
A few municipal projects could be the trigger to getting better services across the country. This is a model that could work in many other fields as well.