CenturyLink says speeds are up

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CenturyLink announced April 10 that its $323 million effort over the last five years has boosted its Internet speeds in Colorado, reaching up to 40 megabits per second.

The company focused efforts on expanding broadband availability and increasing bandwidth.

“CenturyLink makes it a daily priority to continue to upgrade our entire footprint in Colorado,” said CJ Powell, public-relations manager.

CenturyLink, formerly CenturyTel, absorbed Qwest Communications in April 2011. It’s central-region headquarters are in Littleton, just west of Mineral Avenue and Broadway. That location employs 2,300 people.

“We’re pleased that CenturyLink continues to invest in our local area,” Kelly J. Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said in a press release. She added that robust and reliable broadband service is critical to the business community and helps give Colorado an edge.

The state agrees. It used a $5.3 million federal grant to establish the Colorado Broadband Data and Development Program, a statewide broadband mapping and planning initiative. According to the website, its mission is to “promote an environment that enables a cost-effective, sustainable, high-speed, scalable broadband network and encourages the adoption and use of broadband services for improved health, safety, education and economic development.”

Internet users can visit the site to test their own speed, then submit the results. CBDDP tracks the data to help identify underserved areas, and works with those communities to find solutions. It also helps coordinate and increase online classes available to students who wouldn’t have access to them otherwise.

Users can visit CBDDP’s broadband map to find out what companies provide service to what areas and compare their download speeds. In downtown Littleton, CenturyLink checked in at 10 to 25, as did Verizon and T-Mobile. Comcast came in at 50 to 100, and AT&T at 3 to 6.

Powell said speeds are variable from neighborhood to neighborhood, and while the company is continuing its upgrade efforts, it hasn’t reached every neighborhood yet.

“We understand how important it is for our customers to have fast, affordable access to the Internet, so CenturyLink has made enhancement and expansion of our HSI service a priority,” Scott Russell, CenturyLink vice president and general manager in Denver and Northern Colorado, said in the release.