CenturyLink announced on Tuesday that gigabit Internet is coming to "select" locations in 16 cities for "thousands" of residential and business customers. The rollout will take up to 12 months so that hundreds of thousands of CenturyLink customers can take advantage of the company's ultra-fast fiber network.
"While some providers talk about bringing broadband speeds of 1 gigabit per second to their customers in the future, CenturyLink is delivering these speeds today to thousands of residential and business customers, making us one of the fastest broadband providers in these communities," Shirish Lal, CenturyLink senior vice president of marketing said. "We are providing these cities a reliable network with ultra-fast broadband speeds that help create a foundation for a strong community, attract new businesses and drive economic growth."
The new fiber network, which uses the company's fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology, will be made available to businesses in Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Phoenix, Sioux Falls, Spokane, and Tucson. Residences and businesses receiving the service include Columbia (MO), Denver, Jefferson City, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Omaha, Orlando, Portland, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.
According to an unnamed source, there will be a one-time charge of $59.99. Even more, right now only Omaha and Las Vegas actually have 1 Gbps service. The expansion process is tedious, the source said, and new lines need to be laid down. It will be at least a year, if not longer (the source said the timetable is indefinite) before gigabit service actually rolls out to all the cities mentioned above. Worse, CenturyLink will finish rolling out service to its Las Vegas and Omaha customers before it will begin work on these other markets.
"This multi-city residential and business service offering extends CenturyLink's 1 Gbps service already available to residential customers in certain parts of Omaha and Las Vegas and select business customers in Salt Lake City," the press release stated.
Residents and businesses that live/work in one of the markets listed above can go to www.centurylink.com/gig to find out if gigabit broadband will be offered. If not, they can sign up to receive an email alert when this service will be up and running in their neck of the woods.
Is CenturyLink trying to leapfrog Google Fiber with this announcement? So far the company is providing gigabit speeds only in Las Vegas and Omaha, and announcing that 14 other cities will eventually get the service too. Google Fiber reveals that it's working on three cities, and plans to expand to nine others without making it sound like everyone is getting Gigabit now in select areas. Is it just a coincidence that CenturyLink is listing four more cities than Google Fiber? Probably not.