Are you a Geek? If you’re reading Geek Beat, chances are good that you are. Good news, there’s a place that really wants to have you and it’s willing to provide 1Gbps internet and home loans to do it. Before you pack your bags and buy a ticket to SFO or Kansas City International, you should note that it’s neither the Bay Area or the soon-to-be Google Fiber-equipped KC, the place you’re looking for is Chattanooga, TN.
Yes, Chattanooga, that Tennessee River Valley city best known for trains, riverboats, and some really stunning terrain. As the Uncle Sam posters say, they Want you. They have started a multi-faceted campaign called the Gig City aimed at attracted geeks and tech businesses to the city. There are two main components to the Gig City campaign, Gigabit fiber optic internet service and an incentive program to attract geeks to the city.
It turns out the Google Fiber network that Google is about to start building isn’t a completely unique entity. Chattanooga’s public utility EPB has already created a gigabit fiber optic network that covers its service area. That being said, at a penny shy of $300 per month, it’s not near as cheap as Google’s offering, but for true geeks that have to have the absolute fastest connection out there, it is available. If you don’t need that much, 250,100, and 50Mbps connection are available are more affordable prices, as are television and phone services if you haven’t cut the cord yet. And did I mention again that their gigabit service is available now?
When it comes to bringing geeks to ‘Nooga, they put their money where their mouth is and are offering cash money. One of the chief incentives is called Geek Move. 10 recipients will be given $10,000 forgivable loans (after three years) toward their home plus $1,250 in travel expenses if you buy a home in one of 8 approved neighborhoods. They are also offering cash prizes for innovative ideas and for bringing the best geeks to their fair city.