Tennessee: The Innovation State?

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Could Tennessee be a model of future innovation and thinking? A state, once known for manufacturing, railroads and country music is pushing forward some pretty progressive ideas and policies. We explore how the state is revolutionizing both education and technology.

In Monday’s State of the State address, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced a proposal to eliminate tuition and fees for the state’s 13 community colleges and dozens of vocational schools. The change, which requires state legislature approval, has already been met with considerable support. Dr. Janice Gilliam, president of Northeast State Community College, weighs in on the potential impact of the "Tennessee Promise."

Along with higher education, the state of Tennessee is also tackling high speed Internet. Chattanooga, a city of barely more than 160,000 people, operates the fastest city-wide Internet network in the country. For only $70 a month, you can access one gigabit-per-second Internet speed in every Chattanooga home and business. That’s 50 times faster than the average speed in the U.S. With that type of broadband, you can download a movie in seconds.

How did the mid size southern city find itself on the frontier of Internet technology? And what has it meant for a once outdated economy? We talk to Andy Berke, Mayor of Chattanooga, and Drew Belz, co-founder of Fancy Rhino, a creative agency in Chattanooga, specializing in video, web, and design.