Networking for Practical
Quantum Applications

Quantum networks are a promising new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the world of telecommunications.
ensuring that the data is transmitted securely. Through a principle referred to as the “no cloning theorem,” any attempt to measure or manipulate the quantum state of a particle will destroy the information it contains. Therefore, any attempt to intercept or hack a quantum transmission will be detected, which alerts the sender and receiver to the breach. Near-term use cases for quantum networks, beyond pure research and development, likely include improved security for communications, specialized sensors for critical infrastructure and public safety, and precision timing distribution.

The promise of user-defined R&D, however, makes the case for widespread access so compelling. Small-scale, community-accessible commercial quantum networks available for hardware, software, and application designers and developers will be where American creativity and entrepreneurial spirit will be unleashed. Much like actual users developed the most compelling applications for the Internet, we believe users of quantum networks will come up with cases we can’t even imagine yet.

The Nation’s First Commercial Quantum Network

In 2022, EPB of Chattanooga and Qubitekk joined together to design, build, and launch America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network designed for running equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment—EPB Quantum Network℠ powered by Qubitekk. Built to accelerate the commercialization of quantum technologies, EPB Quantum Network is designed to generate, distribute, and measure qubits across an established fiber optic network connecting businesses, entrepreneurs, researchers, government, and universities to the quantum future.

Even prior to its official opening, EPB Quantum Network already catalyzes collaboration among different players in the burgeoning quantum marketplace. Using equipment provided by Qubitekk and Quantum Opus, software by Aliro, fiber optic cable from OFS, and the fiber optic network owned by EPB, the development of this network is a first in the industry and a promising resource for entrepreneurs in quantum technology who do not have access to private business and government labs.

EPB of Chattanooga launched the nation’s first gig-speed community-wide internet in 2010. Since then, the municipal utility has continued to invest in the network, which spans 9,000 miles and is halfway through a $70 million upgrade that allowed EPB to launch America’s first community-wide 25 Gig internet service last summer. EPB Quantum Network currently operates on a dedicated underground fiber optic network that mitigates weather disturbances and adds a level of protection against cyberattacks. Although the network is separate from EPB’s broader community-wide fiber optic system today, there is enormous potential for scalability as advances continue in the quantum industry. Already, EPB Quantum Network houses 10 nodes—or user spaces—with capacity to add more as user needs evolve.

Locally, in Chattanooga, momentum is growing to support the establishment of a quantum ecology to grow jobs, boost workforce development, and generate business support. In March, the city launched Gig City Goes Quantum to leverage EPB Quantum Network to prepare for education, jobs, and business opportunities in the emerging quantum technology sector. The community-wide initiative garnered support from community leaders, companies, schools, and universities. A key partner, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, plans to operate a node on the network as part of their Quantum Information Science and Engineering initiative to establish excellence in education, innovation, and economic development.

The network is available to both public and private sectors, and can be configured for running existing applications, testing new quantum technologies, or validating equipment performance. Built specifically to accelerate the development, adoption, and integration of quantum products, EPB Quantum Network is flexible, private, easy to use, and allows users to maintain complete control over their intellectual property. EPB Quantum Network can serve as a model for smaller-scale quantum  networks, spreading momentum across the nation and providing opportunity and access to the scientists and engineers building practical quantum technology applications for tomorrow.

Quantum networks are a promising new technology that has the potential to revolutionize the world of telecommunications. With their unparalleled level of security and speed, quantum networks offer a solution to the ever-growing demand for secure and efficient data transmission. The applications of quantum networks are vast and varied, and as the technology advances, we can expect to see even more innovative applications in the future. Designing and installing a quantum network is a complex process, however, that requires careful consideration of various factors such as hardware selection, environmental conditions, protocol development, and personnel training. As contributors to the nation’s first commercial quantum network, we are optimistic about the potential of this technology and look forward to being part of its evolution into our lives in the coming decades.


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