Chattanooga's Broadband Investment Opens the Door to Telehealth

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Chattanooga (TN) has the fastest internet in the United States. Why is that? The Electric Power Board of Chattanooga, the city’s municipally owned telecom and utilities provider, has invested heavily in fiber-optic network infrastructure, delivering 1-gigabit-per-second connections. That has enabled residents to access superfast broadband services, but it could also spur the deployment of new services, including telehealth. The city is actively exploring the idea of delivering telehealth services to residents who subscribe to EPB broadband services. With EPB closing in on 100,000 total subscribers, telehealth services could potentially benefit a significant number of residents. “We’re right at about 98,000 customers today in our fiber optics division and getting close to having 100,000 by this fall,” said EPB President David Wade. "That’s a big milestone and one we are going to celebrate.” As the Times Free Press reports, when EPB launched its fiber-optic services in 2009, it projected it would get about 35,000 users. Given that momentum, the city wants to use its broadband investments to offer a wider array of services. “We’re very interested and committed to participating in this telehealth market, and are evaluating our options,” Katie Espeseth, vice president of product development at EPB, tells Government Technology. “Having partners that provide innovative products and services is how we plan to maintain our competitive edge in this market.” If users get broadband service from an ISP, they can add telehealth services for as little as $30 per month, potentially. 

Chattanooga's (TN) Broadband Investment Opens the Door to Telehealth