Story by Megan Boatwright

Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- EPB is making history in the Tennessee Valley.

Starting Monday, 100,000 EPB customers have access to the fastest internet service in America.

The new service is called "F-I Speed Internet 1000".

The "F-I" stands for "fiber optics".

That means EPB customers will have internet speeds at one gig per second.

This fiber optics service already offers internet speeds 10 times faster than the national broadband plan calls for 10 years from now.

Only a handful of international communities have the same internet speeds we now have in Chattanooga.

"It gives us something that no other city in the U.S. has," says J. Ed. Marston with the Chamber of Commerce.

In a flowery press conference attended by city leaders EPB announced 100,000 of its customers now have access to its fiber optic technology.

"What the internet will look like in 10 years is what it looks like today in Chattanooga," says EPB President and CEO Harold Depriest.

Here's what that means for customers. For 350 dollars a month, Chattanooga homes and businesses can have internet speeds at one gig per second.

"That's about 200 megabites of data over already completely done in that amount of time," says Jim Busch.

Since 2004, Jim Busch has used EPB's fiber optic technology to build Specialty Networks, a medical imaging business completely dependant on band-width.

"We're looking at about two to five seconds depending on the size of the study," says Busch.

These images average between 200 and 400 megabites of data.

"Those load in probably five seconds, where in the past, some of the systems might actually break trying to load that much images," says Busch.

Busch says without the internet speeds available to him through EPB fiber optics, there's no way he could continue to grow and keep costs down for patients.

With that kind of internet speed now available to a wider range of businesses and homes, it seems the possibilities are endless.

"That's what we're seeing now. We're seeing a blank slate, an opportunity to innovate in ways that we haven't even imagined yet," says Marston.

EPB expects to have the technology available to all 170,000 of their customers by the end of the year.