Cedar Falls Utilities takes on CenturyLink with 1 Gbps service

Iowa's Cedar Falls Utilities (CFU) has become the latest municipal provider to offer a 1 Gbps fiber to the premises (FTTP) service, challenging CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) with a much higher speed that the telco can't yet match.

CFU pole attachment

A CFU employee attaching fiber to utility poles in Cedar Falls. Click here to watch the video. (Source: CFU)

CFU's new service leapfrogs the speeds that both CenturyLink and cable MSO Mediacomm offer. The two providers currently offer 6-10 Mbps and 10-25 Mpbs respectively on their copper and HFC-based networks.

Hoping to attract more businesses to Cedar Falls, the service will be offered to consumers for $275 per month and businesses for $950 per month.

CFU's citywide fiber optic network was completed earlier this year. The utility said that the service is available for any of its business and consumer customer locations, and it already provides the service to about 400 rural properties.

One benefit of completing the network build out is that it accelerates CFU's service activation time.

"We can turn up a customer's gigabit service on the same day they ask for it, if not the same hour," said CFU General Manager Jim Krieg, in a release announcing the new service. "The facilities are already in place, so we can activate the service remotely from our network operations center."

In addition to the 1 Gbps service, it offers a range of home and business internet plans under its FiberHome brand, ranging from as low as 2 Mbps for $30 a month to 120 Mbps for $137 a month.

Other notable cities that have launched 1 Gbps service offerings include Chattanooga, Tenn., Wilson, N.C., Lafayette, La., Bristol, Va., and San Leandro, Calif.

While 1 Gbps service won't pertain to every broadband user, ongoing moves by CFU and Google Fiber's (Nasdaq: GOOG) activities in Kansas City, Austin and Provo are driving incumbents to take notice with trials or new FTTP deployment strategies in the markets they serve.

For more:
- see the release

Special report: The Contenders: Municipal fiber providers meeting or beating the incumbent competition

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