In the global race to see who can offer the fastest internet service, an unlikely challenger has emerged, reports the New York Times: Chattanooga, Tenn. The city-owned utility, EPB, plans to announce that by the end of this year it will offer ultra-high-speed internet service of up to one gigabit a second. That is 200 times faster than the average broadband speed in America. Only Hong Kong and a few other cities in the world offer such lightning-fast service, and analysts say Chattanooga will be the first in the United States to do so. “This makes Chattanooga—a midsized city in the South—one of the leading cities in the world in its digital capabilities,” said Ron Littlefield, the city’s mayor. There is one caveat: the highest-speed service will cost $350 a month, a price that might appeal to some businesses but few households, even though the service will be offered to all the 170,000 homes and businesses that EPB serves. “We don’t know how to price a gig,” said Harold DePriest, chief executive of EPB. “We’re experimenting. We’ll learn.”

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Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura