Columbia and Jefferson City get rare higher speed internet service

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COLUMBIA - Columbia and Jefferson City became two of only 6 cities in the nation Tuesday with access to higher broadband Internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second. That's nearly 10 times faster than the speed available now. 

The company is using its fiber network to give select areas the high-speed Internet.

Columbia Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine said Columbia businesses and neighborhoods need faster Internet speeds.

"It certainly opens up all sorts of possibilities, not only for residential customers who would like to see higher speeds for downloading videos and streaming stuff on their web browser or TV, but certainly from a commercial standpoint," St. Romaine said. "Businesses have a great need for much broader capacity for Internet for things like video and conferencing, even Internet medicine, which is something that's really taking off and requires much higher speeds than we currently have available."

Businesses and residential customers will now be able to download movies, songs, and TV shows in seconds with little to no delays in video content. 

CenturyLink said it chose Columbia and Jefferson City because of the community the two cities offers.

"In Columbia and Jeff City, we have a strong government and education environment, and we feel that this environment really requires higher speeds to be able to provide our communities with a higher bandwidth to take on what the community is evolving and changing," said Century Link Missouri VP and General Manager, Karen Crabtree.  

CenturyLink said with the 1 gig speed, there will be little to no issues with the Internet. CenturyLink said it is in the process of placing the new system within existing fiber in the cities and will go on throughout 2014.