CenturyLink adds Las Vegas to 1 Gbps FTTP pilot

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) says that it will extend its 1-Gbps fiber to the premises (FTTP) pilot project to Las Vegas, NV. The U.S. Tier 1 carrier had previously announced its intention to test FTTP-enable gigabit services in Omaha, NE. CenturyLink says it expects to offer 1-Gbps services to homes and businesses in Vegas this fall – and may not be done with its expansion plans.

There were at least 26 “gigabit communities” in the United States as of last month, according to research conducted on behalf of the FTTH Council Americas by RVA LLC. Twenty of these use networks provided by the municipalities themselves or competitive service providers, with Google Fiber among the latter demographic. Major incumbent providers are beginning to react, as CenturyLink’s pilot and AT&T’s announcement that it will offer 1-Gbps services in Austin, TX, indicate.

“CenturyLink is pleased to announce that Las Vegas will be the next city to receive ultra-fast broadband speeds up to 1 Gbps,” said Matt Beal, CenturyLink chief technology officer. “We know our customers will embrace this new technology that will allow them to simultaneously use multiple devices in their homes and businesses without the burden of bandwidth constraints.”

Many of the communities that have moved to 1-Gbps services have used the availability of such high-speed connectivity as a way to increase their appeal to high-tech businesses looking for new homes. Las Vegas is no different.

“This is wonderful news for Las Vegas,” said U.S. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada. “Advances like these will ensure that Las Vegas continues to cement its reputation as a high-tech hub. I support these efforts by CenturyLink, and welcome more investments in our local economy. I look forward to even more access to high-speed technology in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada.”

“An aspect of my efforts as Governor has been fostering the growth of Nevada’s technology industry throughout the state,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. “Las Vegas has always been one of America’s most connected cities and is quickly becoming a premier destination for launching tech-focused businesses. CenturyLink’s high-speed 1 Gbps fiber network pilot in Las Vegas adds another level of vital infrastructure to support our continued growth as a technology-driven city.”

CenturyLink says that it plans to launch 1-Gbps capabilities in other communities “into 2014.” Meanwhile, small business customers in “select locations” will also be offered the service early next year.

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