Chattanooga, TN is home to the country’s first and only 1 gigabit per second Internet network, with service available to all its residents and businesses. The system was completed by EPB, the city’s publically owned electric power system in March 2011. Its architecture is GPON based (Gigabit Passive Optical Network) and comprised of two fully redundant 10 gig MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching) rings.
Through community involvement, the GIG City Team was established with the goal of uncovering and attracting emerging tech talents across highly diverse disciplines to create and sustain a local innovation ecosystem for next generation applications and service development.
In order to realize this end, the team established the “Gig Prize”, a competition that challenges students and entrepreneurs to pioneer the future of the Internet. Winning projects will take home a combined total of up to $300,000 in investment capital, and that number is growing as more innovative tech companies see the opportunity it provides.
The GIG City team is not only looking for advisors, mentors and judges from prestigious multi-national technology centric companies to engage in the cities efforts, but welcomes other likeminded efforts to utilize EPB’s fiber optic infrastructure as a test bed. The team continues to welcome financial investment where applicable. They believe that locating company appropriate contacts to facilitate the competition is a key component to the success of the effort.