Local Internet companies look to bring faster speeds to homes

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COLUMBIA - Local Internet companies are now looking to provide 1 gigabit internet service to neighborhoods in Columbia. This Internet service is nearly 100 times faster than the Internet currently available.

Last week leading Internet company CenturyLink announced Columbia and Jefferson City would be two of 16 cities in the nation provided with the 1 gig service. 

This week, local company Socket said in a statement to KOMU 8 News, "Socket is already capable of offering gig speeds to many businesses and is currently looking for interested neighborhoods to begin building their first 1 Gig to the home network." The company said it hopes to have the service in neighborhoods by the end of 2014.

Resident and student Josh Dalton said the Columbia area could use faster Internet. 

"I think Columbia could use higher speed Internet because college kids could use it to get homework done quicker," Dalton said. "I know from personal experience and from friend experience that the Internet has crashed during their homework sessions or their tests that are online. If we have higher speed Internet with higher quality, we could get rid of that. The businesses would be able to be more efficient. There wouldn't be as many upset customers when they can't get a quick enough order and get projects done."

The city of Columbia said it could use faster Internet for the kind of people who live in Columbia.

"We have lots of young folks in our community who gobble up bandwidth like crazy, and so I think that was certainly a major factor, and certainly with the entrepreneurial activity that we have going on in Columbia that has sparked through our regional economic development," said Columbia Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine.

Local Internet provider Mediacom said it has provided 1 gig and faster gig service to business customers for years, but has no set plan on expanding to neighborhoods yet.