EPB Annual Report 2013


Increasing Our Customer Base

During the past year, EPB Fiber Optics surpassed the 50,000-customer mark. Residents and businesses are adopting Fi-Speed Internet, Fi TV, and Fi Phone service faster than imagined, and while we believe in our EPB Fiber Optics products, we’re even more pleased that our customers do.

We want to give them more than they expect,
but everything they deserve.

Celebrating EPB Fiber Optics’ Third Anniversary

In September, EPB Fiber Optics celebrated its third birthday. But instead of receiving presents, we gave one to our customers, upgrading Internet speeds for all Fi-Speed Internet subscribers. We increased speed for 30 Mbps customers to 50 Mbps, promoted 100 Mbps customers to 250 Mbps, and moved 500 Mbps customers all the way to 1000 Mbps, or 1 Gbps—all at no charge. This gift was just a small way of thanking our customers, and making their time online just a little bit better.

Bringing New Video Services to Life

Improvements to EPB Fiber Optics weren’t limited to Internet subscribers. EPB employees designed and implemented new features for Fi TV customers, including Smart View profiles designed with custom programming selections for fans of sports, politics, and more. We also made it possible for subscribers to watch dozens of channels on their preferred mobile devices, and restructured video on demand services as well. As video consumption habits shift and mobile devices become more widespread, EPB is making sure that our customers can access content however they choose.

Demonstrating The Potential of Fiber Optics

Two years ago, Japan suffered widespread damage from a tsunami. As the effort to rebuild their infrastructure continues, representatives from Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. East visited EPB to study EPB’s use of fiber optics for communications services. NTT is Japan’s largest phone, TV, and Internet provider, and our representatives were able to show them how fiber optics is revolutionizing service for our customers.

Around the country and the world, others in the industry are increasingly looking to Chattanooga and EPB. Professionals from New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, and Colombia (just to name a few) have visited Chattanooga to learn from EPB’s employees and study EPB’s infrastructure.

Answering The Call of Business

A local business owner had a problem. His existing phone system was no longer working, and he needed a solution. A fast one.

EPB Fiber Optics’ new Hosted Phone Solution, which offers all the features of a sophisticated PBX system without all the headache of purchasing and maintaining costly equipment, was just the ticket. Because many EPB employees from several departments put forth special effort, our installers were able to hook up a new system that same day. That kind of dedication and service may not be what customers expect, but we think it’s what they deserve.

Discovering Potential Problems Before They’re Real

No mechanical system is perfect, and so our employees must test each new product to ensure maximum performance. EPB opened its Fiber Optics Test Lab in order to develop those products and test our equipment. Constant research, development, and testing in a laboratory environment allow our employees to explore new ideas and refine them, making them as near perfect as possible before delivering them to our customers.

Earning The Respect of our Customers

Each year, Chattanooga’s daily newspaper hosts its “Best of the Best” contest, in which readers vote for the best local businesses, places, and people. This year, over 18,000 votes were cast, and we were honored when the collective efforts of all our employees won two awards, for Best ISP and Best Satellite or Cable TV Provider. Knowing that this honor comes from the customers and residents within our community makes it that much more special for us.

Connecting Musicians a Continent Apart

On October 13, 2012, EPB helped present a very special event to a crowd of 4,000 people at RiverRocks Chattanooga. In collaboration with the Annenberg Innovation Lab and the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, EPB employees facilitated connection of a transcontinental gigabit connection.

This connection allowed Chuck Mead, on stage in Chattanooga, to perform “The Wild Side of Life” with T-Bone Burnett, in a Los Angeles studio. The gig connection’s miniscule 67 millisecond latency made the duet possible, as the signal crossed the 2100-mile connection three times faster than the blink of the eye.

Finding Success

Our customer service representatives and business sales team added thousands of customers to the fiber optic network, earning $80.7 million in revenue over the past fiscal year.

Meanwhile, EPB partner Viamedia was so successful in selling advertising on Fi TV that it exceeded its sales projections for the year in only six months. It’s also beaten monthly sales goals each and every month, and even we’ve been surprised and flattered at the positive response.

The success and acceptance of our growing suite of EPB Fiber Optics demonstrate that our customers and advertisers find ongoing value in them, and that more and more new customers are discovering the benefits of fiber optics as well. Our customers are voting with their wallets—and that’s perhaps the strongest vote of confidence we can get.

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another section of our report.