"The work must continue and explain to the community how a network like the one that's been deployed in Chattanooga can be a step change in the community's overall technology," said Kochan. "It's not just a question of bandwidth. We're talking about a network that can be used in a completely different way to address community needs."
I don't think it's too much of a reach to compare the current rise of gigabit-speed bandwidth to early days of the Internet in the mid-’90s, when change was clearly in the air but no one knew what would happen. Kochan is reluctant to make sweeping generalizations like that, but he seems to be describing a different Internet.
"This kind of connectivity is transformative in that it allows for what I like to call the 'Internet immersion experience' that is moving away from the Internet that is largely downloadable video, text and images," he said. "We're talking about an Internet where you could have ongoing persistent live connections" for health care, education, manufacturing and more.
"It's not just an incremental increase in capacity," he said. "It is a tool that can bring about a tremendous amount of change. It's an entirely different kind of network. And it's not really just about speed. It's about a network that's adaptable to a new kind of communication between people."