Chattanooga, a city with about 150,000, homes and businesses, hosts the country's first Internet service capable of speeds up to 1-gigabit-per second.
The city's utility, EPB, installed the Internet service in 2010 on the back of a fiber optic network built with a matching $111.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for smart grid applications.
"We spent the money to add the electronics that are required to allow you to deliver Internet, phone, and TV services," Danna Baily, a spokeswoman for the utility, told me.
Backers of the Gig Tank consider the smart grid, which brings benefits such as increased power grid reliability and improved monitoring of power usage, as the first "killer app" for the network.
They hope the competition will generation new business ideas that leverage the speedy pipe, generating new jobs for the city and money for investors.