By candice graham
an answer to expectations
The new consumers – who are they, what do they do, and what do they want? Today there are over 80 million young adults who are or will soon be a force in purchase decisions. These are the Millennials who span the ages of late teens to mid 30s. Their lifestyles are fast, they’re on-the-go, and for them, technology is fully integrated into their daily routine. From scrolling an online news site to watching Netflix on smart TV’s, to enjoying shows from cell phones, they want information, news and shows delivered fast, in the highest quality, and without interruption. For them slow or low-quality content that may or may not be accessible just doesn’t cut it.
Recognizing the force of these new consumers, the tech industry has responded with ample platforms for use on-the-go, such as smart phones, tablets, laptops, and more. Home entertainment systems now include hi-res audio and video, such as new products from Vizio, Bose, and Sony, and the expectation is that it will be delivered as crisply and clearly as possible.
But frustration is created when devices can’t deliver high quality content, quickly and reliably. That’s not a problem in Chattanooga where EPBs’s 100% Fiber Optic network and Smart Grid bring the first, fastest and most reliable Internet service in the country.
Fiber Optics provides consumers with various retail choices utilizing unlimited amounts of bandwidth at 1 gigabit per second speed. Through the Smart Grid, power outage reporting is handled through near real-time communications. Knowing instantly when power outages occur and quickly re-routing power to eliminate outage time gives consumers exactly what they want – the ability to use their electronic devices, no matter what the platform, reliably and with no frustrating screen freezes, buffers, or degraded signals. The mega-fast internet speed in conjunction with the advanced next-generation electric system allows
consumers to enjoy today’s technology in the highest quality uninterrupted manner.
“Fiber itself actually provides unlimited bandwidth possibilities and the Smart Grid system adds greater reliability in delivery,” explains EPB Vice President of New Products, Katie Espeseth. “The only thing you’re really constrained by is the electronics that you use in the network and the kind of computer you have or the device you use.”
While great for the city of Chattanooga, Fiber Optics and the Smart Grid system can be beneficial on a larger scale as well. Just as unlimited bandwidth enables individuals to stream information from the web quickly and easily, it allows groups the same convenience. For example, a family of four can be using different devices in their home – tablets, smart phones, Apple TV, laptops – and signals won’t degrade. Amplify that in terms of a festival or convention and you’ll get the same result.
In the Future
While Fiber Optics provides the technology for positive societal impacts, it’s the entertainment factor that many will experience day-to-day. Espeseth says she expects the trend of original content providers like Netflix, Roku, Google TV and Amazon Prime to continue to grow. “If I had to bet, I’d say that we’d see more and more original content coming out of those different sources over time. And again, the more bandwidth you have and the better the power service, the better experience you’re going to have watching that content, in whatever platform you choose,” Espeseth says.
As for the future of Fiber Optics, its popularity is on the rise. “We see Fiber Optics and the Smart Grid as a critical type of infrastructure, just like electricity was the in the 20s and 30s. We look back and think ‘Wow, how did people live without that?’” Espeseth says. “We really think in the future people will look back and wonder how they ever lived without gigabit access everywhere. We think Chattanooga, or any city, has to have this kind of infrastructure if it wants to grow and develop economically. If you want smart young people to come here and live and build really great things for the future, you’ve got to offer something like this.”