WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (FOX 13) - A lagoon lifestyle is a big selling point at the Epperson community in Wesley Chapel, Florida, but the real attraction is below the surface.
Residents in Epperson are watching technology like nowhere else in the United States come online in their backyards.
Epperson is creating a so-called connected city. It's the only community approved by Florida lawmakers to speed-up development.
They foresee an affordable east coast version of Silicon Valley. Epperson is the first US community built on top of a fiber network, allowing homes and business to communicate at blazing-fast gigabit internet speeds.
"I've never had internet speeds the way I do here and its part of my HOA, it's awesome!" says resident Kenneth Shere.
High speed internet is included in the fees, but residents can pay extra to get speeds up to 20 times faster than the average connection.
Community developers call it ultra-fi technology, and they hope it will lure high-tech companies and jobs.
"The goal is to attract the best and brightest to come to Pasco County," says Metro Development Group President Greg Singleton.
Health, wellness, and medical technology will also anchor the connected city. These are very attractive features for retirees like Cheryl and William Murdoch.
"Getting older in age and being retired, medical becomes a very important part of your life and having it all here instead of driving to Tampa is a big plus for us," says Cheryl.
Soon those gigabit speeds will extend throughout the neighborhood on an underground Wi-Fi system.
"It should be like being in my house on Wi-Fi, walk out and my phone will switch off my network and dump onto the Wi-Fi network in the neighborhood," says Shere.
The connected city will have 10,000 home sites when it's finished. If the high-tech design is successful, you could see more communities like it around Florida.