EPB’s popularity around Chattanooga appears to have a greater impact than just fast network connections for over 75,000 customers.

An independent study shows the city-owned utility’s fiber-optic infrastructure has generated $865.3 million to $1.3 billion in economic and social benefits and created between 2,800 and 5,200 new jobs.

The study, performed by University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Finance professor Bento Lobo, examined the value of Chattanooga’s fiber optic infrastructure between the years of 2011 and 2015.  

READ MORE | UTC Prof. Bento Lobo's study on the impact of fiber network

Lobo’s analysis examined the network’s impact on:

  • Quality of life
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Business
  • Arts and culture
  • Wired and automated homes 
  • Municipal services 

The study’s findings show that the benefits have exceeded the projected benefits by at least 27% and, possibly, by as much as 95%. These estimates translate into benefits of between $2,832 and $3,762 per Hamilton County resident.

“Because of our fiber optic infrastructure, we are creating economic development opportunities and good, middle-class jobs today as well as positioning Chattanooga to compete in the innovation economy of tomorrow,” said Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke.

The fiber optic network serves as the backbone for Chattanooga’s power smart grid, which include the avoidance of power outages.