EPB Passes 50,000 Customer Mark For Fiber Optics Offering; Set To Pass Comcast

Friday, August 23, 2013

EPB officials said Friday they have passed the 50,000 customer mark for their fiber optics offering and are slated to pass Comcast in local customers sometime next year.

Harold DePriest, EPB president, said its highly successful EPB fiber optics venture is adding about 200 residential customers a week.

The initial business plan set a 28,000-customer break-even point and a "topping out" of 43,000 customers, he said.

He said the service, using the system's highly-touted fiber optic grid, has performed so well that it is providing enough annual income to cover the entire $19 million debt payment for the electric side of the business.

That saves electric customers from having to pay more on their monthly bills, Joe Ferguson, board chairman, said.

Mr. DePriest said Comcast had some 122,000 customers on the EPB grid when EPB launched its rival program. He said Comcast is down to around 75,000 and will likely drop to around 60,000 next year.

He said 70,000 customers "is very doable" for EPB Fi TV.

Mr. DePriest said other utilities in other cities want to emulate EPB's success and are coming here to learn how to do it. The staff had a recent visit from the utility at Opelika, Ala.

He said EPB has formed partnerships with Opelika, Jackson, Tn., and others in helping their TV efforts.

Mr. DePriest said EPB staff is helping provide certain services for those fledgling efforts and that is yielding additional income for EPB. The utility will make $1.2 million over three years under one contract, he said.

He stated, "Our folks have been through it. We can help them avoid mistakes."

EPB Fi TV, which has a new push to get more business customers, had $7.6 million in net sales last month.

Mr. DePriest said EPB is also drawing international attention for its succeses. He said it recently hosted a group of 17 utility personnel from Brazil.

He said, "They chose to visit us, Washington, D.C., the Kansas City offices of Google and Silicon Valley. We are in some pretty good company."

  

.


Preston Custer, 24, Arrested On Multiple Burglary Charges In Cleveland

Cleveland Police Department patrol units responded to a burglary at Bowman Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church at 300 Westview Drive NE in Cleveland on Monday morning. The church was not only burglarized, but sustained an excessive amount of vandalism, well over $10,000. Criminal Investigations detectives Steve Ross, Matt Jenkins and Lieutenant Steve Tyson responded to the church ... (click for more)

Public Safety Coordinator Paul Smith Speaks About Violence Reduction Initiative At Kiwanis Meeting

Public Safety Coordinator Paul Smith spoke about the Violence Reduction Initiative to the Chattanooga Kiwanis Club, saying during the first "call in" of 13 young Chattanooga men with violent records, a mother of a shooting victim pleaded with them to stop the violence. The men were called in as a part of Mayor Andy Berke's initiative to greatly reduce violent crime.  They ... (click for more)

What's Wrong With The City Recycle Program? - And Response (2)

Being new to recycling, I have lots to learn.  I rely on 311 and the attendants at the neighborhood collection centers to assist in building my knowledge.   Recently, I had an experience that makes me reconsidered my recycling efforts.  I loaded up my car, called 311 to verify what I could take, only to be blocked by the attendant at my neighborhood collection ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: That Billboard & Much More

Now that early voting has started and our strawberries have hopefully survived this last blush of winter, allow me to catch up on some things but, first, here’s a letter from a concerned reader I feel compelled to share: “There is something I have noticed throughout Brainerd, East Brainerd, Dayton, etc. A billboard has been put up, I believe by the Health Department of Hamilton ... (click for more)

Cuonzo Martin Leaves Tennessee For Job At California

Tennessee basketball coach Cuonzo Martin apparently took his name out of the coaching search at Marquette so he could put it in a hat at the University of California at Berkeley. On Tuesday, Martin broke ties with the Volunteers and accepted the head coaching job with the Bears. Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart admitted Martin’s move surprised him. “Not from my perspective,” ... (click for more)

Mocs Win Women's Southern Conference Championship

The Chattanooga Mocs are your Southern Conference Women’s Golf Champions. That’s five straight team titles and sophomore Emily McLennan (Queensland, Australia) made it the fourth consecutive sweep winning medalist honors. McLennan was solid shooting 222 for her 54 holes on a tough week for scoring. She won by four strokes over Furman’s Taylor Totland and was seven clear of ... (click for more)