Citywide Fiber Network Made $2.7billion Economic Impact in a Decade

Thursday, February 11, 2021

A recent study has demonstrated how valuable a fiber network can be to a city. Chattanooga, TN built a citywide fiber optic network a decade ago and since then has had an economic impact of over $2.69billion.

According to a study produced by the University of Tennessee the project saved or created 9,516 jobs in Hamilton County. The network has enabled residents and businesses to continue to operate even through the pandemic.

Amongst some of its important benefits, the infrastructure has helped to close the digital education divide enabling low-income households to have internet access. It is thanks to partners coming together to launch HCS Ed Connect that a broadband internet service is now offered at no charge to lower income families. The initiative means all children across the city can access the resources they need to enable a fair education.

Not only has the network enabled economic development, job creation and a reduction of the digital divide but the municipality has been able to utilize the network for Smart City applications which has seen it decrease its environmental impact. The smart grid has helped carbon emissions through smart management and reduced transport, a great achievement for a city which in 1969, was declared the “dirtiest air of any city in the United States” by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chattanooga is a story of great collaboration and innovation within a community which has strived to make it work and improve their city for generations to come and this independent research provides a fantastic insight into how a city can benefit from a fiber network.

SiFi Networks is privately funding open access city wide networks throughout the USA which aim to deliver the same economic development and access to Smart City applications only they fund it instead of the City and taxpayer’s dollars.

“We understand that a fiber network is more than just providing fast broadband to residents and businesses we know it can provide the backbone to economic development as well as increased quality of life and better efficiencies for the city,” Said Scott Bradshaw President at SiFi Networks America.

“Our teams work closely with city officials to map out how they can make the most of the network to plan what Smart City applications may benefit them most. Added to that, schools and hospitals and other entities can tap into the network too.” Added Bradshaw.