Want Gigabit Internet? A fistful of cities can now give it to you

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Credit: AT&T

Gigabit Internet is the Holy Grail for residential Internet users right now. If you’re wondering where to get your hands on it for the upcoming fall entertainment season, here’s where you need to go.

At my home, I’d consigned Gigabit Internet to my back burner as a bucket-list wish. It’s something I’d like to see popup in my suburban pad in this lifetime — but I’ve not been betting on it.

My ISP is barely able to provide enough bandwidth for a stable Slingbox stream, so the idea that the duopolistic price-gougers are going to come along and actually provide an increase in value for my sixty-or-so bucks is not something I’ve been holding my breath over.

Slingbox is a device for personal, point-to-point streaming media, independent of Netflix and its ilk. It needs low latency and as much bandwidth as possible.

However, I may be wrong about the wait. There’s a surprising number of cities where you can order Gigabit Internet right now, or very soon.

What is it?

Gigabit Internet is about a 100 times faster than the measly kind of Internet our ISP gods ordinarily provide.

The term “gigabit” refers to a speed of one gigabit-per-second, or 1 Gbps. That 1 Gbps equates to 1,000 Mbps.

Where is it?

David Goldman, writing in CNNMoney, lists the obvious pipes at Kansas City, KS, which was Google Fiber’s initial market. He then also lists the driblet of Kansas City, MO and Provo, UT as being live. Austin, TX is about to launch Google Fiber, he says.

A delve into Google’s Official Blog produces a potful of cities that have been “invited” to “work with us to explore,” whatever that means.

They are: Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Tempe in Arizona; San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Palo Alto in California; Atlanta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Hapeville, Sandy Springs, and Smyrna in Georgia; Charlotte, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Garner, Morrisville, and Raleigh in North Carolina; Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Gresham, Lake Oswego, and Tigard in Oregon; Nashville-Davidson in Tennessee; San Antonio, TX and Salt Lake City, UT.

But don’t hold your breath.

Goldman, however, lists Dallas and Fort Worth, TX, and again, Austin, as live now through AT&T’s U-verse GigaPower. Upcoming deployment is in Charlotte, NC; Houston, TX; Miami, FL and Nashville, TN.

AT&T, in an April, 2014, press release talks of “advanced discussions” in Raleigh-Durham, and Winston-Salem, both in North Carolina. Its deployment map indicates these two cities are “announced.”

And it talks of more “candidate” areas, which I’d translate to mean: “nowhere near deployment areas.”

They are: Augusta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Greensboro, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, San Francisco, and San Jose.

A PCMag.com article has recently tipped Cupertino, CA, Apple’s HQ city, as another for AT&T’s gigabit speeds. It also adds Overland Park, KS, to the possibilities list.

Goldman, in his piece, lists a slew of CenturyLink residential deployments, including Denver, CO; Las Vegas, NV; Orlando, FL; Salt Lake City, UT; and Seattle. WA.

Perusing CenturyLink’s early August 2014 press releases produces a further wad of five available now. They are: Columbia and Jefferson City, MO; Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN; Omaha, NE; Orlando, FL; and Portland, OR.

And business customers can get CenturyLink’s gigabit service in Albuquerque, NM; Colorado Springs, CO; Phoenix, AZ; Sioux Falls, SD; Spokane, WA; and Tucson, AZ, too.

So, get those moving trucks rolling. Anyone know when the next Orange is the New Black season starts?

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