Gigabit internet finds a new home in Omaha, Nebraska

When it comes to gigabit internet, the headline buzz usually involves Google and some mid or south western American locale. But not today. No, today, the ridiculously high-speed internet spotlight falls on Omaha, Nebraska where local provider CenturyLink is poised to launch a pilot service. Starting Monday, the telco's Lightspeed Broadband package ($150 a month for standalone service or $80 a month as a bundle) will go live for nearly 10,000 subscribers and continue to rollout to a footprint just shy of 50,000 residential and enterprise subs by October. Further expansion plans for the greater metro area all hinge upon whether CenturyLink can turn a profit on the service, but the company will continue to sign-up enterprise subs outside of this pilot zone for the next two years. The path forward -- at least, to us -- is pretty clear, Omahans: vote with your wallet if you want to preserve the gigabit bragging rights.

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CenturyLink to make Omaha one of the fastest broadband cities in America
Thousands are eligible for company's new high-speed fiber network pilot

May 1, 2013

OMAHA, Neb., May 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) today announced it is connecting 48,000 Omaha homes and businesses with its new high-speed fiber network pilot that will deliver Internet speeds of up to one Gigabit per second (Gbps) – 100 times faster than average broadband speeds.

CenturyLink is upgrading its existing fiber architecture in west Omaha to create a more robust network that delivers fiber optic connections directly to homes and businesses. This upgraded fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology will provide eligible customers with access to some of the fastest upload and download Internet speeds currently available in the U.S.

"CenturyLink is pleased to offer its Omaha customers ultra-fast broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps to help keep pace with growing broadband demands," said Karen Puckett, CenturyLink chief operating officer. "This demonstrates our commitment to deliver communications solutions that provide our customers with the technology they need to enhance their quality of life, now and into the future."

Using 1 Gbps, customers can download a high-definition movie in seconds and stream it from multiple devices, gain instant access to cloud services and applications on demand, and subscribe to the latest information and entertainment services available. Speeds are also symmetrical, allowing customers to upload videos and large files of information just as fast as they download. Customers utilizing CenturyLink's 1 Gbps service in Omaha will have a direct connection to the company's recently upgraded 100 Gbps global network, designed to accommodate the bandwidth demand driven by cloud computing, mobile traffic, big data and video streaming.

"After working on telecommunications issues for more than a decade now, I'm well aware of the many economic benefits that come from access to high-speed broadband," said U.S. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.). "I'm proud that CenturyLink has chosen Omaha for its 1 Gig pilot and really believe that the sky is the limit for our local tech community now that they'll have access to the fastest Internet speeds in the country."

"Our ability to provide this service to Omaha residents is partly due to the good collaboration and partnership we have had with the City of Omaha and their support at the local level," said Danny Pate, CenturyLink vice president and general manager – Nebraska. "CenturyLink is pleased to offer Omaha next generation broadband technology. With speeds up to 1 Gbps, we will provide eligible consumers and businesses the freedom to simultaneously use multiple integrated devices in their homes and businesses without bandwidth constraints."

CenturyLink begins rolling out its 1 Gbps service next week and expects to have its new fiber network available to all 48,000 customers by early October 2013. The company will evaluate its Omaha 1 Gbps offer before determining further deployment of this advanced technology, considering such factors as positive community support, competitive parity in the marketplace and the ability to earn a reasonable return on its investment.