Chattanooga to Tony Stark: Don't Diss Our Internet
The blockbuster hit “Iron Man 3” has delighted audiences, but Chattanooga, Tenn., officials have a beef with Iron Man Tony Stark, shown in the film struggling with a slow Internet connection.
Not in our town, insists the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. "If Iron Man had visited the real Chattanooga, he would have been saving the world, with the help of the first American city to offer gig-a-second Internet speeds," DCI, a marketing firm specializing in promoting cities, said in a statement.
In 2010, Chattanooga became the first U.S. city to have a community-wide 1 Gbps Internet and broadband service, which covers a 600-square-mile area and all of its 150,000 or so homes. (Google and its fiberhoods may have gotten most of the recent press, but Chattanooga was wired up two years earlier, albeit at a much higher subscriber cost of about $300 a month.) [See also: How Google Fiber Will Change Austin Tech ]
Despite Stark's frustration with Chattanooga, a tech whiz like him would be welcomed by the city. Chattanooga's Geek Move program, launched in 2012, offers "professional geeks" who live at least 50 miles outside the region a $10,000 forgivable mortgage and $1,250 for relocation expenses.
This summer, Chattanooga will host its second accelerator challenge, Gig Tank — an opportunity for five entrepreneurs to experiment with applications for the city's high-speed fiber network. Last year's winner, Banyan — a Tampa, Fla.-based startup that designed a collaborative research platform for universities — won $100,000 and later decided to move to Tennessee.
Indeed, it just may be possible to really save the world in Chattanooga.