Omaha, Nebraska is slated to receive gigabit internet courtesy of a service provider intent on competing with the fiber service Google has already rolled out in the Midwest. The broadband industry is finally waking up to the threat Google Fiber poses. We’ve already seen Time Warner and AT&T respond, and now it’s CenturyLink’s turn.
On Wednesday, CenturyLink — the nation’s third largest telecommunications company — announced on Wednesday that it will begin wiring 48,000 homes and businesses in Omaha next week as part of an upgrade to existing fiber infrastructure, and it plans to offer gigabit internet service to those locations beginning in October 2013. Pricing was not announced.
DSL Reports editor Karl Bode thinks the move is a response to Google’s planned purchase of Provo, Utah fiber internet service iProvo. “While Google Fiber’s expansion hits competitively-challenged AT&T and Time Warner Cable hard in a few markets, their recent announcement of expansion into Provo, Utah hits smaller, regional incumbent CenturyLink even harder,” he writes.
While Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has admitted that the company wants to wind down its fixed line services in favor of wireless services, CenturyLink is dependent on its fixed lines.
But CenturyLink’s press release cautions that the first 48,000 connections are essentially a pilot program, and it warns that the company’s gigabit service may never expand further.