Chattanooga touts transformation into Gig City - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga touts transformation into Gig City

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COUNTY - Hamilton COUNTY - Hamilton
By ERIK SCHELZIG
Associated Press

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A city once infamous for the smoke-belching foundries that blanketed its buildings and streets with a heavy layer of soot is turning to lightning-fast Internet speeds to try and transform itself into a vibrant tech hub.

Through a combination of political will and federal stimulus money, 175-year-old Chattanooga became the first U.S. city to broadly offer Internet speeds of a gigabit per second - nearly 50 times the national broadband average.

Whether becoming "Gig City" will be enough to launch a modest southern city into the ranks of Silicon Valley and other concentrated centers of innovation remains to be seen, but local leaders like Mayor Andy Berke are betting they've positioned themselves well for what lies ahead in the global economy.

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