Steal this idea: How a smart city can help pay for a smart grid

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By: SGN Staff

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Quick Take: We've mentioned the Chattanooga success story before, but here's an article that highlights an important aspect – how to pay for it.- By Jesse Berst

 

When Chattanooga decided a few years ago that it wanted to become a world-class, 21st-century city, it quickly realized it would need ultra-fast broadband access for all residents and businesses.

 

City residents can now browse 10 to 100 times faster than in most American cities. Yet most of them won't pay a dime for the upgrade. As the Washington Post put it in a recent story: "For that, city residents have an unlikely business to thank: the publicly owned electric utility."

 

Because the utility, EPB, needed citywide communications to accomplish its grid modernization goals, it agreed to put in a state-of-the-art broadband network that could serve both needs. Thus, the smart grid helps subsidize consumer Internet access and vice versa.

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