The Chattanooga telecommunications company EPB is launching the first communitywide 25Gbps internet speed tier in the US.
Why it matters
Wow, we thought things were ramping up when AT&T and Ziply Fiber announced 5Gbps plans this year, and Xfinity bumped up its Gigabit Pro plan to 6Gbps. But this shows that the need (or desire, at least) for greater and greater internet speed isn’t about to wane.
EPB, a municipal utility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, that provides 100% fiber-optic internet service to the community, announced a new 25 gigabits-per-second plan available to all residential and business customers, effective immediately. This is the fastest multi-gigabit broadband service available in the US.
The 25,000Mbps plan, which features symmetrical download and upload speeds, is five times faster than AT&T’s highly touted “hypergig” plan and Ziply Fiber’s speediest tier. It’s more than four times faster than the Gigabit Pro plan from Xfinity.
Chattanooga might still be most familiar for some as the city name-checked in the popular 1941 Glenn Miller Orchestra song Chattanooga Choo Choo. But to observers in the tech industry, it’s been known as “Gig City” for more than 10 years. It was an early adopter of Gig-speed internet, offering it communitywide back in 2010, and it was the first US city to have a residential, 10 gig plan, back in 2015.
“We are once again breaking the typical approach for internet service providers by proactively upgrading to the latest technologies in anticipation of future needs,” said EPB Board Chair Vicky Gregg in a press release. “Our goal is to enable new frontiers for technical innovation and job creation for our customers to the benefit of our whole community.”
Of course, this raises the question: Do you really need all that speed? According to the most recent insights from OpenVault, the typical US household has an average download speed of approximately 312Mbps. For most of us, upgrading to a gigabit tier would be a noticeable upgrade, let alone leveling up to a 25Gbps plan.
Also, EPB notes that customers interested in this new plan would need new equipment to fully take advantage of its top-shelf capabilities. Though it could be connected to run on a subscriber’s current hardware, you’d be unable to reach the maximum download and upload speeds. The EPB site says, “Utilizing speeds this great requires professional-grade equipment.”
What kind of a dent will this zippy new plan put in customers’ budgets? No word yet on costs, but as soon as we confirm with EPB, we’ll be sure to let you know.