EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

Thursday, July 24, 2014
 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service."

Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these services to every home and business in its 600-square mile electric service territory. Yet, a digital desert exists just outside of EPB’s electric service territory, where citizens and businesses have little or no broadband Internet connectivity.

"For several years EPB has received regular requests to help some of these communities obtain critical broadband Internet infrastructure. Under current Tennessee law, EPB is authorized to provide telephone services anywhere in the state, which would be provided using a fiber optic communications system.  However, a territorial restriction prohibits EPB from using the same fiber optic communications network to provide advanced services such as high-speed Internet outside of its electric power service territory.

"Because of the importance of broadband Internet to the nation, the FCC is required by Congress to identify and remove barriers to the expansion of access to broadband Internet. EPB asserts that the territorial restriction in Tennessee law should be removed if the Congressional objective of advancing widespread availability of broadband is to be carried out."

Harold DePriest, EPB president and CEO, said, “At EPB, we believe that high-speed Internet is the critical infrastructure for the 21st century.  True broadband infrastructure provides access to information, jobs, and education and gives citizens and businesses the opportunity to fully participate in – and to lead – our emerging knowledge economy. Communities should have the right, at the local level, to determine their broadband futures.”

Officials said that if the territorial barrier is removed, "EPB would be able to consider the requests of its neighbors to help them obtain access to broadband Internet services.  In considering those requests, EPB will apply the following fundamental principles": 

·       EPB will extend service only into cities and counties that request EPB's presence. 

·       EPB will not extend service outside its electric power service territory to any areas unless it is financially feasible to do so. 

·       EPB has never used electric customer dollars to cross-subsidize Internet and video services and never will. 

 The full petition and accompanying exhibits are available for review.


Police Blotter: Undercover Officer Nabs 2 Women Who Respond To Escort Service Ad; Swindle Involves One-Sided Copy Of $50 Bill

An undercover officer said two women reported to a motel on Shallowford Road after he responded to an escort service ad on Backpage. He said the women matched their photos in the ad. They agreed to "full service sex" for $260. The women, Holly Carney and Sabrina James, said they live at the Hamilton Inn. A search of their room there turned up meth, syringes, scales and ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: EPB Unveils Annual Holiday Window Displays

Lawlessness At Heritage Park

As a frequent visitor at Heritage Park in East Brainerd, I must say that the situation is becoming slightly out of control.  To start, parking is atrocious.  The unpaved lot contains nothing but loose gravel which has naturally given way to divots in the ground assuring you a few bumps.  Why isn't this area smoothed out?  It's not worth parking there anyways ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why I Am Thankful 2014

Over 40 years ago I was a young sports writer when I came up with the notion of setting daily things aside, just for one day, and writing about why “I Am Thankful.” Every Thanksgiving I come up with my list and it is as much about me as it is about my gratitude for all things great and small. I can’t imagine approaching this day in any other way. Here we go … I AM THANKFUL for ... (click for more)

Alcoa, A Prep Football Gold Standard, Up Next For Irish

Notre Dame almost had a crack at powerful Alcoa in the 2013 TSSAA football playoff semifinal round. But, in the quarterfinals, Alcoa beat Christian Academy of Knoxville, 42-14, but the Fighting Irish dropped a 19-10 decision to Upperman, which was crushed, 75-18, a week later by the Tornadoes. Alcoa clipped Christ Presbyterian Academy, 25-7, in the state championship game. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Women Shock No.4 Tennessee, 67-63

Before the season started some people across the country called Chattanooga women’s basketball coach Jim Foster crazy for scheduling three top 10 teams – Notre Dame (national runner-up) Stanford and Tennessee - before Christmas. After Wednesday night’s UTC shocking 67-63 home win against No.4 Tennessee before 4,160, those same folks might believe coach Foster is crazy like ... (click for more)