CenturyLink preempts Google Fiber with 1 Gig, IPTV launch in Portland, Ore.

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has launched its Prism IPTV service that will run over its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in Portland, Ore., effectively beating Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) to the service punch.  

In August 2014, CenturyLink announced that it would extend its 1 Gbps fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) footprint to residential and business customers in select locations in 16 cities, including Portland.

Later in December, a report emerged that the telco reached a deal for a new franchise agreement with city officials with plans to deliver service this year.

Similar to other markets where it offers the Prism IPTV service, eligible users will be able to get a wireless set-top box, whole-home DVR, a mobile app for watching programming at home or on the go, video on demand and an app center for accessing social network sites. 

The telco is also responding to the TV Everywhere trend by offering mobile content from HBO GO, MAX GO, STARZ Play and SHOWTIME Anytime, and a selection of sports channels, including the NFL Network, SEC Network, Pac-12 Network and Big Ten Network. 

While it did not specify in the press release announcing the debut of Prism what parts of the city would get the service first, previous reports revealed that the service provider has installed fiber in segments of inner southeast Portland, near Hawthorne, Division and Belmont, and it is following up those efforts by bringing fiber to Ladd's Addition and in northeast Portland, near Irvington.

IPTV continues to be a hot seller for CenturyLink.

During the first quarter, CenturyLink reported that it added about 8,000 Prism TV customers, increasing penetration of the approximately 2.4 million addressable homes to 10.2 percent. It ended the first quarter with a total of 249,000 Prism TV subscribers, up year-over-year from 199,000 subscribers in the same period a year ago.

What's interesting about CenturyLink's deployment is whether it will drive Google Fiber to pull the trigger and begin building in the city. In March, Google Fiber told lawmakers that the state's proposed tax changes will make it "extremely unlikely" the service provider will bring its service to the Portland area.

Google Fiber was granted a franchise to operate its FTTH service in the city last June. In agreeing to bring its FTTH service to the city, Portland city commissioners had to agree to tone down some of their restrictions on the placement of utility cabinets along rights of way. 

There is hope for customers that want to have another option for 1 Gbps data and TV service from Google Fiber. In April, Oregon lawmakers signed a law that would exempt gigabit Internet service from a decades-old property tax initially intended for microwave towers.

For more:
- see the release

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