EPB of Chattanooga is an electric power distribution and telecommunications company owned by the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Previously, they had constructed an extensive and very high speed fiber-optic network throughout the Chattanooga metropolitan area that can provide one gigabit per second internet speed to more than 175,000 homes and businesses. They are now partnering with Qubitekk to offer a Quantum as a Networking Service to customers in its area. EPB will make the EPQ Quantum Network available to government, industrial, academia, and others who wish to experiment with utilizing quantum communications for various applications.
The network will utilize Qubitekk’s Bohr IV integrated quantum network equipment that includes photonic qubit sources, single photon detectors, quantum compatible fiber optic switches, precision correlated timing hardware, and software. EPB will have in place much of the equipment needed for a quantum network including the fiber cable, routers, and other equipment so a new end user only has to install a small amount of equipment on their end to hook up to the network.
Potential uses include implementing QKD cryptography for secure communications, testing new quantum technologies, confirming equipment interoperability, and validating quantum product performance. EPB, as well as the City of Chattanooga, are hoping that the availability of this infrastructure will encourage more companies with interest in researching quantum set up office in Chattanooga to taking advantage of this capability. For a company doing research in this area, the infrastructure being put in place by EPB can make it significantly cheaper to conduct than setting up a testbed on their own.
Additional information about this announcement can be found in a press release posted by EPB, a web site for the EPB Quantum Network that can be view here, a technical paper written by Qubitekk located here, and a video available here.
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