Dwight Watt - Watt Thoughts #306 2/26/2015

#306 - EPB expanded area by FCC (Watt Thoughts)

Today the FCC made two large rulings. One was on net neutrality which I have written about in the past and after I can study what they did today will write on again. The second was a ruling allowing EPB in Chattanooga to offer high speed Internet outside the city limits.

EPB can now extend to rural areas of Tennessee outside of city limits of Chattanooga by FCC ruling today. I knew EPB is looking at adding Internet to other locations in other states.


EPB is the power company for Chattanooga and was created to sell TVA electricity in Chattanooga. They have been in Internet business for a while and I have been told are preparing to expand to other states. It is not a small town electric utility like I have in LaFayette and had in Elberton, although the Elberton utility expanded to Internet when I was there in 2000. They offer gigabit service to Chattanooga, thereby already offering Chattanooga what everyone else is trying to get from Google.

The ruling will probably go to the courts now. I am sure the state passed that law supposedly to protect competition for some other providers in that area but this would allow some to get faster than now. Charter and Comcast both offer some higher speed in this area as a result of EPB and have been fibering the area well. Wirth Comcast I had 20 meg download 3 upload and then they supposedly upgraded their equipment and now I only get 8 meg download and 7 upload. Still appears to usually be faster than 10 but when I clock it, it comes in at 8/7.

The legal problems I see with decision is that it says federal law trumps state law, but there is the Constitution that gets in way which did not mention telecommunications as a federal right and so it would fall in reserved to state. This ruling is not about them expanding across state lines but in Tennessee. However I am sure the argument will be made that this is how commerce is done across state lines using Internet to order and deliver and there by covered by the Constitution on commerce to federal government.

It is really neat the speeds that EPB has been able to achieve with their Internet service and as a smaller major city.



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