Before the end of the year, Las Vegans can have Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second in their homes.
Previously, the fastest residential Internet speed available in Las Vegas was 150 megabits per second through Cox Communications. The highest speed offered by CenturyLink was 40 Mbps.
One thousand twenty four megabits make up a single gigabit, meaning the new service is almost seven times more powerful than previous offerings.
CenturyLink Inc. announced the expanded service Wednesday.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, who spoke at the press conference, compared the upgrade to highway improvements.
“We’ve all been stuck on the I-15 in traffic, and we’ve been waiting there,” Sandoval said. “This would be the same as adding 10 lanes to the I-15, with no traffic and allowing you to drive as fast as you want, as long as you want.”
Jeff Oberschelp, vice president and general manager of CenturyLink in Las Vegas said the 1 gigabit speeds will roll out to selected customers in the next month, with a general release this quarter.
City of Las Vegas Mayor Pro Tem Stavros Anthony said rollout will first occur in northwest Las Vegas’ Ward 4, which he represents, and Ward 6.
CenturyLink has invested $200 million in infrastructure during the past three years.
Fewer than 10 communities in the United States have 1 Gbps, an asset Sandoval expects to make the city more attractive to prospective business.
“One of the hallmarks or one of the most important crusades that I’ve gone on is with regard to economic development,” he said. “And as part of economic development, it’s very, very important that, in the next generation in Las Vegas, we be a technology community.”
Anthony called the expansion a game-changer.
“Las Vegas is always going to be known for our gaming and our resorts, our entertainment and shopping, but there are events that are changing our culture,” he said, highlighting companies such as Zappos and Switch data center as proof that Las Vegas is becoming a tech town.
“We’re going from Sin City to Gig City,” Anthony said.
He also said he expects the residential Internet service to encourage more people to work from home.
“I think this is going to have a major impact on people opening a business in their home,” Anthony said. “An architect will be able to run their company out of an office in their home.”
CenturyLink began offering the new speeds in Omaha, Neb., in May 2013. In Las Vegas, 1 Gbps service will be offered in a bundle with Prism TV for $124.94 per month.
“Having one GB in Las Vegas makes us special,” Oberschelp said. “Everyone is working to bring new businesses and new startups to Las Vegas. Clearly being a 1 gig city is going to make the decision easier for the site selectors and for the company presidents and owners.
“This future-proofs Las Vegas. Nobody ever has to worry about am I going to have the right Internet connection for whatever happens next.”