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Chattanooga Utility Announces Quantum Network Capabilities

A new partnership between EPB and California-based Qubitekk will allow private companies, government and university researchers to test quantum equipment and applications in an established fiber-optic environment.

quantum computing processor
Shutterstock/Yurchanka Siarhei
Chattanooga, Tenn.’s primary utility provider, EPB, has announced a partnership with California-based Qubitekk to launch a quantum-as-a-service network for private companies, government and university researchers.

The city has been on the forefront of high-speed Internet deployments, first offering gig-speed service in 2012 and steadily building on that capacity.

This most recent collaboration will allow users to run quantum equipment and applications in an established fiber-optic environment, according to the EPB press release.

The idea is that users will be able to leverage this faster network to accelerate the development, adoption and integration of quantum technologies to advance areas like cybersecurity, next-generation Internet, or improvements in health care, finance and other industries.

“With the growing global focus on the potential for quantum technologies to solve problems that would require decades of conventional computer processing, both U.S. companies and the federal government are investing billions of dollars in this emerging sector,” EPB Board Chair Vicky Gregg said. “EPB Quantum Network gives Chattanooga the opportunity to attract new investment while accelerating breakthroughs that could make a real difference for our community and the nation as a whole.”

Duncan Earl, president and CTO of Qubitekk Inc., said the launch will circumvent some of the common industry barriers facing the research and technology sectors, such as cost and time.

“If U.S. companies and researchers continue to develop quantum technologies in isolation, they face barriers such as the cost and time necessary to put together an end-to-end solution instead of focusing on their particular piece of the puzzle,” said Earl in the release. “EPB Quantum Network powered by Qubitekk is a purpose-built infrastructure that allows quantum technologists to run their solution collaboratively with other technologies while retaining their proprietary data and intellectual property.”

EPB and Qubitekk are currently utilizing the network to share quantum states between two quantum equipment hubs over a commercial fiber-optic network. Additional quantum nodes will be added by summer 2023 for users to install their own quantum equipment, officially opening up the technology to select user groups.