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Internet 100 Times Faster Than Broadband

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Wednesday (6/11/2014) at the Southland Conference on technology, entrepreneurship + southern culture, Connected Tennessee announced new statewide research showing that nearly 1 in 10 Tennesseans now have broadband speeds of 1 Gbps (“gigabit”) or greater available to their home or residence. Gigabit broadband is around 100 times faster than today's average residential broadband Internet download speed.

Connected Tennessee’s April 2014 semi-annual broadband inventory update indicates that a total of 8.8% of Tennesseans from the communities of Bristol, Chattanooga (North America’s 1st residential gigabit community), Clarksville, Morristown, and Tullahoma currently have availability to symmetrical broadband speeds of 1 Gbps or above. Google Fiber and AT&T GigaPower are also exploring ultra-high-speed broadband network build outs in Nashville and neighboring Middle Tennessee communities.  

“Tennessee’s position as a national leader for residential access to the world’s fastest Internet speeds is a key competitive advantage in today’s information economy,” said Connected Tennessee Executive Director Corey Johns. “When combined with recent recognition among the most competitive states for business and as ‘State of the Year’ for economic development, the fact that almost one-in-ten Tennesseans now have gigabit broadband services available to their residence or business makes our state an even more attractive place to start, grow, or relocate a business.”

Southland Conference host and Launch Tennessee President & CEO Charlie Brock agreed. 

“Many of the entrepreneurs and start-ups that Launch Tennessee recruits and supports are tech companies that are looking to build potentially disruptive technologies in a high-bandwidth environment,” said Brock. “The presence of gigabit connectivity, not only for the companies but also for their clients and customers, is incredibly valuable as they work to develop and deploy the Internet applications of tomorrow. Leading the nation for residential gigabit availability certainly helps reinforce our message that Tennessee is a place where innovation happens and where tech-startups can launch, grow, and succeed.”

Johns concluded, “While we are certainly encouraged that 8.8% of Tennesseans can access gigabit broadband speeds at their home or residence, we must not overlook the 174,000 households in our state that currently lack broadband availability at FCC minimum speed targets.”

Connected Tennessee released the first statewide broadband inventory in 2007 and this marks the ninth comprehensive broadband data refresh since the State Broadband Initiative program, funded through the U.S. Department of Commerce, began in 2010.

Additional findings from this research also show:

  • Basic broadband availability in Tennessee (768 Kbps download/200 Kbps upload) is now at 96.29%, not including mobile wireless services
  • Broadband availability at 100 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload has increased over 40 percentage points since October 2011, not including mobile wireless services
  • 174,000 Tennessee households are still without broadband availability at FCC minimum speed targets
  • 13.16% of Tennessee households have broadband availability from Fiber to the Home/Fiber to the Premise
  • Since October 2011, broadband availability at 50 Mbps download/1.5 Mbps upload has increased almost 7 percentage points, not including mobile wireless services

Research and maps are available through an innovative broadband mapping tool called My ConnectViewTM offering unmatched views of Tennessee’s technology landscape. Residents and businesses are encouraged to use the interactive map to find area providers and help validate the data. To report a desire for broadband service that is not available in a given area, consumers can fill out a broadband inquiry.

Connected Tennessee’s research was conducted as part of the State Broadband Initiative grant program for Tennessee, funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The data were gathered in accordance with the requirements of the NTIA. The process begins by contacting all known providers in the state and providing information about the broadband mapping project. Information on broadband service areas is collected from each provider through voluntary participation and is subject to confidentiality protections. The data is then independently verified through engineering studies, site visits, propagation models, and consumer feedback. The FCC is using this data to direct broadband subsidies. More information about the broadband mapping process is provided in the Broadband Mapping FAQ.

Connected Tennessee will continue to update broadband provider service areas and conduct detailed research on the data; working in collaboration with Tennessee broadband providers helps determine the true extent of the available network more accurately. Connected Tennessee also conducts independent, ongoing validation of the broadband service data submitted by the provider community.

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