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CenturyLink challenges Google Fiber

Photo Credit: COURTESY CENTURYLINK - A CenturyLink technician works on the company's 1 gigabit broadband service.CenturyLink has beaten Google Fiber to the punch by announcing its own high-speed broadband service is now available in parts of town.

Google generated headlines earlier this year by announcing it was considering expanding its 1 gigabit per second network into Portland and several nearby cities. The company said it will decide which cities will get the service — called Google Fiber — by the end of the year.

But during an early Tuesday morning press conference at City Hall, CenturyLink officials said their equivilent 1 gigabit service was now available in certain neighbors, with more to added in coming weeks and months.

“In a city that boasts some of the top technology providers, it’s critical that residents and businesses have leading technology available to them. We chose Portland for this next-generation technology because the city’s tech-savvy customers demand it. CenturyLink is pleased to announce the continued expansion of our service offerings here in the Portland metro area to serve business and residential customers,” said Chris Denzin, CenturyLink general manager/vice president for Portland.

According to Denzin, CenturyLink already provides slower broadband service in most of Portland. The 1 gigabit service is being added as part of an national expansion. CenturyLink already provides it in three American cities, and is now adding 16 others, including Portland.

“High-speed Internet access is an issue of innovation, it’s an issue of livability, and it’s an issue of equity. We have been pursuing policies in the city that support a robust and competitive Internet environment. That’s not just a nicety, it’s about investing in what we need to be a fully competitive community. So we welcome CenturyLink’s announcement,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, who appeared at the press conference.

Hales and the rest of the City Council held a press conference with Google officials when the company made its announcement earlier this year. On Tuesday, Hales said that if Google Fiber also comes to town, the competition will benefit everyone.

CenturyLink is the third-largest telecommunication company in the United States. Its 1 gigabit service allow users to stream high-definition video content with little to no delays and download movies, songs and TV shows in seconds. Residential customers who have multiple devices connected to one Internet connection in the home will still have more than enough capacity and speed to support other uses of broadband such as online gaming and home-automation systems.

Comcast is currently advertising that its Xfinity internet service current does the same thing. Unlike CenturyLink, Xfinity is available citywide. GoogleFiber will also only be available in certain parts of town.

CenturyLink currently offers broadband speeds up to 40 megabits and 100 megabits per second in many locations throughout the metropolitan area. Residential customers can purchase 1 gigabit service for $79.95 a month when bundled with additional, qualifying CenturyLink services. For more information updates on when the service is available in new Portland communities, visit www.centurylink.com/fiber/. Business customers can visit www.centurylink.com/business/data/fiber-services.html?city=portland for additional information. Interested customers can also receive updates by following CenturyLink Portland on Twitter (@CenturyLinkPDX).

Information on Google Fiber can be found at fiber.google.com/newcities/.

Information on Xfinity service can be found at www.comcast.com/xfinity.