Denver is about to become a so-called " Gig City."
CenturyLink will announce Tuesday that it is bringing super-fast broadband to Denver residents and businesses, offering speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second.
Some pockets of Denver already have access to the fiber-optic service, which CenturyLink says is up to 100 times faster than national average broadband speeds of 10 megabits per second or less.
A fiber connection to the home would allow users to stream HD video with no lag and download big files, such as movies and TV shows, in seconds. The rollout comes as more consumers embrace smart home technologies that are always connected to the Internet and compete for the same capacity as smartphones and computers.
"When you bring fiber to a home, what it does is it relieves all that congestion, so it creates a better experience," said Scott Russell, Denver general manager for CenturyLink. "It really future-proofs the home."
The network build-out is welcome news for a city that has been overlooked by Google as part of the search giant's much-ballyhooed Google Fiber project.
But CenturyLink is light on details about which neighborhoods in Denver will have access to the fiber network, citing competitive reasons.
Russell said only that the company plans to reach "a large percentage of the city" by early next year. When a community is connected, salespeople will contact those residents about the offering, he said.
The service will not be available in the surrounding metro area.
Gerard Hallaren, a broadband analyst with Janco Partners, said the lack of details on availability softens the impact of the rollout.
"I'd love to say it's a game changer, but there are two things that will determine what kind of impact it will have: price and availability," Hallaren said.
CenturyLink plans to charge $150 a month for stand-alone service with speeds of up to 1 Gbps for both uploads and downloads. When bundled with the company's home phone service, the price drops to $80 a month with a year-long commitment.
Hallaren said CenturyLink's 1 Gbps is reasonably priced and comes at a good time because more consumers are substituting traditional pay-TV for online video services, which consume significant bandwidth.
CenturyLink is also announcing Tuesday the launch of the so-called gigabit service in 12 other cities. The company's ultra-fast broadband is already available in Omaha, Las Vegas and Salt Lake City.
Russell said CenturyLink will be able to offer its Prism TV service to Denver residents with access to the fiber network once it is able to secure the necessary video franchise agreements.
Andy Vuong: 303-954-1209, firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/andyvuong