With Qubitekk, EPB Goes Quantum

Building on its award-winning collaboration with Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratories, EPB of Chattanooga and Qubitekk – designers and manufacturers of quantum network systems – have joined forces to launch America’s first industry-led, commercially available quantum network. By advancing this technology, EPB and Chattanooga are positioned to lead the way in providing the real-world infrastructure needed to generate, distribute, and measure photonic qubits across a fiber optic network.

Image of EPB and Qubitekk workers installing fiber optic cable courtesy of EPB, Chattanooga

EPB’s President and CEO, David Wade, suggests the implications of this technology can serve to further catapult Chattanooga’s regional economy into the future: “When EPB announced ‘The Gig,’ everyone was asking, ‘what do you do with that much internet speed?” he said.

“Since then, Gig-speed internet has served as a platform for innovation in opening up new opportunities for increased productivity, remote work, education, telehealth, entertainment and more. EPB Quantum Network is our step in opening up even more new vistas of possibility.”

The two companies announced this new joint effort earlier today at the Quantum World Congress in Washington, D.C., alongside local and state leaders including Bob Corker, former U.S. Senator; Duncan Earl, Ph.D., President & CTO, Qubitekk; Tim Kelly, Mayor, City of Chattanooga; Weston Wamp, Mayor, Hamilton County; Vicky Gregg, EPB of Chattanooga Board Chair; and Steven Angle, Ph.D., Chancellor, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Watch the full press briefing below.

As a permanent, industry-managed tool for quantum product development and testing, this new technology enables private companies, governments and academic researchers to run quantum equipment and applications in an established fiber optic environment.

Image of Qubitekk server courtesy of EPB, Chattanooga

The network provides quantum technologists with fiber optic infrastructure that integrates the latest foundational quantum equipment and software to accelerate their process of bringing quantum technologies to market. 

EPB and Qubitekk’s partnership began over five years ago through a R&D 100 award-winning effort, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and aimed at securing America’s electric grid against cyber threats. In 2021, EPB, Qubitekk, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory partnered to run quantum encryption technologies across real-world fiber optic loops that EPB established between some of its electric substations. EPB and Qubitekk leveraged the technological breakthroughs gained through this collaborative experience to achieve a now commercially available quantum network.

Powered by Qubitekk, EPB’s Quantum Network is equipped with the latest foundational quantum network technologies including entangled photon sources, single photon counting detectors, quantum-compatible fiber optic switches and a flexible, software-defined network architecture. Qubitekk’s Bohr IV is a proprietary quantum networking system that generates, transmits and measures qubits.

Image of Qubitekk’s Bohr IV system courtesy of EPB, Chattanooga

EPB and Qubitekk are already utilizing the EPB Quantum Network to share quantum states between two Quantum Equipment Hubs over a commercial fiber optic network. By summer 2023, the team will establish additional Quantum Nodes where subscribers can install their own quantum equipment.

Utilizing Qubitekk’s Bohr IV system, the EPB Quantum Network can be reconfigured to meet different needs for integrating foundational quantum network technologies. And because EPB’s network spans the Chattanooga area with more than 3,750 cable miles of distribution fiber, the EPB Quantum Network will be more easily scalable. EPB’s network also has a dedicated fiber optic connection to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and multiple transport lines to major internet hubs.

EPB recently upgraded its core network to a 100-gig capacity and is more than halfway through a five-year, $70 million systemwide upgrade to keep Chattanooga’s fiber optic network on the cutting edge. As a result of this investment, EPB was recently able to launch America’s first community-wide 25 Gig internet service.  

Paired with this quantum technology, EPB innovations continue to provide next-generation solutions for industries including healthcare, finance, cyber security and more.

Companies and researchers interested in learning more about using the new EPB Quantum Network to help accelerate their quantum technologies to market can learn more at EPBQuantumNetwork.com.

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