EPB's Katie Espeseth on delivering the 'world's fastest Internet' in Chattanooga

NASHVILLE – Fiber Connect 2022 – EPB is an electric power distributor, independently operated and municipally owned by the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Formerly known as the Electric Power Board, EPB started building fiber in 2008 and today has roughly 11,000 miles of fiber deployed, passing all 185,000 homes and businesses in its footprint.

That has made a significant difference for the city, said Katie Espeseth, vice president of new products at EPB. Over 200 new startups have set up their businesses in Chattanooga in the last few years, 74% of which are still operating, she said. The city has also seen 9,500 new jobs created over the last ten years, over half of which are in the high-tech sector.

Espeseth joined Light Reading at the Fiber Connect conference to discuss the progress Chattanooga has made with fiber delivery, how it's paved the way for economic growth and more.

Here are a few topics discussed in this video:

  • How customers are using EPB's gigabit and 10-Gig services (01:40)
  • How EPB has evolved as a service provider (04:20)
  • Owning the "world's fastest Internet" space (05:28)
  • What role federal funding might play in EPB's broadband future (06:24)

Related stories and links:

— Kelsey Kusterer Ziser, Senior Editor, Light Reading; and Nicole Ferraro, Site Editor, Broadband World News

6/15/2022 |
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The digital divide in North America is leaving millions without adequate broadband. Incumbents operate in “islands” of connectivity, serving densely populated areas and, at a national scale, perpetuating the digital divide in the gaps in between their service footprints. Regional ISPs have a clear role in closing that gap.

These regional ISPs operate in a highly fragmented landscape, including smaller wireless and FTTH incumbents, satellite ISPs, electric co-ops, tribal communities, and municipalities in public/private partnerships. These regional ISPs face the same cyber threats and operational challenges as their Tier 1 counterparts, but with far fewer resources and revenue-generating population density. As a result, many regional ISPs have developed highly innovated business models for access and core technology, partnerships, financing and services.

The discussion will cover:

  • Three ISPs that have taken an innovative approach to their business, as detailed in a recent STL Partners report
  • Why regional ISPs need to double down on core security basics such as DDoS protection
  • How ISPs have created new revenue by offering managed services
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