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CenturyLink bringing superfast Internet to Las Vegas

Updated Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 | 4:45 p.m.

Las Vegas residents will soon have access to Internet connections 100 times faster than the average broadband system.

CenturyLink announced Wednesday that it would bring 1-gigabit Internet service to the northwestern neighborhoods of Las Vegas before the end of the year. The company plans to expand it even further in 2014.

"Las Vegas has always been one of America's most connected cities and is quickly becoming a premier destination for launching tech-focused businesses," Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. "CenturyLink's high-speed 1 Gbps fiber network pilot in Las Vegas adds another level of vital infrastructure to support our continued growth as a technology driven city."

CenturyLink's service was first unveiled in Omaha, Neb., in May. The cable provider decided to bring the technology to Las Vegas because customers were receptive to the release of one of its other products, Prism TV, two years ago, according to company spokesman Jason Chan.

The fiber technology is capable of downloading entire movies in seconds and can accommodate multiple large downloads at once; connection speed is no longer an object.

"It's seamless — it's how you think about electricity and water," said Heather Burnett Gold, president of Fiber to the Home Council Americas, an organization that advocates for wider use of the technology. "You don't usually think about do you have enough water."

The technology garnered headlines in 2010 with the Google Fiber contest. To attract the project, cities went to extravagant lengths to promote themselves, including throwing parades and temporarily renaming their city after the tech company.

Today, about 20 cities — including three with Google Fiber — have implemented the technology, according to Burnett Gold.

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