CenturyLink ramps up broadband speed

Ultra-fast fiber network available in some Columbia, JC neighborhoods

Broadband speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second are now available to some Jefferson City residential and business customers, officials with CenturyLink announced Monday.

The company’s ultra-fast fiber network will provide access to some of the quickest upload and download Internet speeds available in the United States, said Gregory Baker, company spokesman.

The service is being deployed now in a few Columbia and Jefferson City neighborhoods, but will be available to additional customers throughout 2014. A list of those neighborhoods hasn’t been made available yet, Baker said.

“Throughout the fall, we’re going to continue to open up new neighborhoods. So, if people are interested in the service, they should go to our website and let us know their name and their contact information so that we can inform them when it has opened up.”

For more information detailing this service, and to receive updates on when it’s available, visit www.centurylink.com/gigabit. The service will be available for a monthly charge of $79.95, with a 12-month commitment and when bundled with other qualifying CenturyLink services, such as phone and Prism TV.

The new service relies upon fiberoptic cable — strung both pole-to-pole and underground — not copper telephone wires.

One gigabit is equal to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). According to Net Index, a measure of Internet speed maintained by the software and broadband testing company Ookla, average U.S. Internet speeds are about 18.2 Mbps.

Baker said the faster speeds will help area customers, but will not completely solve every problem.

“You have to understand it’s connectivity all the way through. So, if you have buffering from Netflix or any other service, it could be due to congestion anywhere on the network … not just between your house and CenturyLink. Your computer plays a role … the websites you’re connecting to play a role. It is a web. It’s not just a straight line,” he said.

But Baker expects the new service to provide more satisfactory Internet speeds in the region. CenturyLink offers residential customers broadband speeds between 40 to 100 Mbps in certain neighborhoods now.

“We like to say, ‘This is future-proofing your home, as more devices are connected within your home,” he added.

The faster upload and download speeds will increase productivity and efficiency while working in the Cloud, sharing multimedia files, streaming video content and backing up data. It is being offered to residential customers first, and later to business clients.

CenturyLink’s business leaders say it will help Jefferson City attract new businesses and drive economic growth.

“In cities that house state government leaders and world-class educators, it’s critical that residents and businesses have leading technology available to them,” said Karen Crabtree, Century Link’s vice president for Missouri.

“We are excited,” Mayor Eric Struemph said. “The enhanced service … will be an advantage for technology-based companies to grow or relocate to Jefferson City. I often think of the 1 gigabit service as the ‘Expressway to the Internet.’”

This week’s launch is coordinated with roll-outs in 12 other cities.


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