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February 11, 2014

CenturyLink Provides Utah Multi-tenant Buildings with High-speed Fiber Optic Internet Services, to Grow its Business Base



By Daniel Brecht
Contributing Writer



For some time now, fiber-to-the-premises, or FTTP, telecommunication services have been deployed in select areas of Utah; first by UTOPIA, then Google Fiber, and now CenturyLink, as noted in a last week’s post featured on The Salt Lake Tribune website.

CenturyLink (formerly Qwest (News - Alert)) is today one of the largest telecommunications companies in the U.S. in terms of access lines and has one of the largest fiber footprints in the country; The company is now installing a data communication over fiber optics link in Salt Lake City  for multi-tenant buildings (similar to the scenario of Aurora’s Fiber Optic Network across the city). The connections will provide support for data, video and voice communication. According to Larry Walters, general manager for CenturyLink in Utah, the project shows how the company is committed to Salt Lake City and Utah; he hopes it will boost existing businesses’ growth and attract new ones. The fiber connection which has been under construction for a while now, “will be available to about 2,500 businesses in Salt Lake County, including Salt Lake City, Sandy, Midvale, Draper, South Jordan, West Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights,” Walters said.

As yet, “the [fiber-optic Internet] service is [only] available for over half of those customers, with the rest scheduled to receive it over the next few months,” Walters affirmed.  This is to be a great thing for business customers who will be able to transfer large data files or even stream multiple videos simultaneously, as the connection is capable of  an Internet speed  of up to 1,000 megabits per second both for downloads and uploads.

The availability of broadband services and access to high-speed Internet over the fiber-optic network (FTTB) is often a deal-maker for businesses looking for a new office. The fiber connection can provide faster and more reliable service than traditional broadband services that use coaxial cables. Moreover, the lightweight and flexibility of fiber optic cables also make them easier than copper cable installations to be used for wide-scale deployments. Fiber optic connections are often the ideal medium for the transmission of data with virtually no signal loss; they are also immune to electromagnetic Interference (since signals are transmitted as light instead of current).

CenturyLink’s fiber-optic network is purposely being installed to move large amounts of data, quickly, and provide customers with the most robust connection that will suit business needs. Perhaps, it will also be used to provide expanded managed hosting and cloud services across Utah (after all the company has acquired Savvis, Inc. in 2011, a global provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions)  to support those "moving to cloud" and  looking to maximize  the effectiveness of shared resources. Cloud applications are becoming quickly workplace necessities, and CenturyLink is striving to provide broadband services that with their “availability, quality, and competitiveness […] are critical pieces of infrastructure for attracting new businesses to Salt Lake City." Jeff Edwards, president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, said in a statement.

For now, unfortunately, the high-speed access will not be made available to residential users, as The Salt Lake Tribune post revealed. Walters has yet to say if a gigabit service might be offered for residents any time soon. He does state that CenturyLink looks to upgrade its network to give customers the speeds they want; for now, as the main provider of landline telephone service in the state, it “offers a DSL Internet service through telephone lines that is much slower and ranges from about 1.5 to 40 megabits-per-second download speeds.” However, residents in Provo, Utah County have the option to go with the Google (News - Alert) Fiber service, which offers one-gigabit Internet speeds. As for those cities along northern Utah, there is UTOPIA that offers a similar fiber-optic service for residential homes.




Edited by Cassandra Tucker
 
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