Chattanooga is home to EPB’s fiber optic network, which can deliver speeds up to 10-gigabits-per-second to every home and business in its 600-square-mile footprint.
Even with such an advanced infrastructure, there are often barriers to residents gaining access to technology and the internet, and participating in technological innovation. The Enterprise Center is committed to breaking down those barriers to ensure that everyone, regardless of income or neighborhood, is connected and engaged. We believe that no matter how advanced the technology in our community is, we are not a Smart Community until everyone has equitable access to it.
Our work in community connectivity takes many forms and includes the following programs, which run with community partners:
- HCS EdConnect
- Expanding public WiFi
- Tech Goes Home
- Understanding the impact of connectivity, through research partnerships with The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Boston College
Collaboration is the cornerstone of our approach to community connectivity. Locally, we organize the Digital Access and Equity Committee, which consists of more than 50 people representing a wide range of organizations, governmental entities, and educational institutions, and we are highly engaged with the Regional Broadband Alliance, which aims to expand digital access and equity in 16 counties across Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. On a national level, we work closely with the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), US Ignite, and other partners who work to improve connectivity in communities across the country.
In addition to creating the opportunity for residents to get online, The Enterprise Center is studying the impact that internet access has on a community. Working with a research team at Boston College, we are examining how HCS EdConnect affects learning outcomes and the local economy.