As cities around the country grapple with the opportunities and obstacles associated with next-generation broadband, we are thrilled to be co-hosting “Envisioning the Gigabit Future,” a field hearing in Chattanooga on the importance of next-generation Internet to community outcomes and the need for unfettered community choice, with the Southeast Tennessee Development District.

We’re excited for what promises to be an interesting and timely discussion on Tuesday, November 18 from 9:00am – 12:30pm ET, and we invite you to join us:

Chattanooga is one of America’s first – and leading – truly “gigabit” communities. Although the city’s investment and commitment has yielded dividends for the city itself, this is not just an issue of local or parochial concern. The potential for gigabit and next-generation broadband to improve America’s communities is a national question, with national implications. For example, Tennessee is one of about twenty states that restrict community broadband choice, prompting Chattanooga and Wilson, North Carolina (another such state), to petition the Federal Communications Commission to remove these restrictions so that Chattanooga and Wilson can expand their highly successful networks.

The hearing will feature voices from Chattanooga and cities and stakeholders from around the country on why this infrastructure is so essential to supporting communities that thrive and prosper.

Speakers and panelists include:

  • Mayor Andy Berke, Chattanooga, TN
  • Senator Janice Bowling, Tennessee State Senate (16th District)
  • Mayor Gary Davis, Bradley County, TN
  • Harold DePriest, President and CEO, EPB
  • Jonathan Taplin, Director, Annenberg Innovation Lab, University of Southern California
  • Tony Perez, Director of the Seattle Office of Cable Communications and President of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors
  • Aldona Valicenti, Chief Information Officer, Lexington, KY
  • Rick Usher, Assistant City Manager, Kansas City, MO
  • Beth Jones, Executive Director, Southeast Tennessee Development District