Getting to a gig: How CenturyLink is building out its network and why.

Gigaom

Gigabit networks are coming. After a long pause between Verizon’s(s vz) FiOS bet and Google(s goog) jumpstarting the movement again, several cities across the nation are getting fiber-to-the-home networks that will be capable of offering connection speeds 100 times faster than average U.S. connections.

The hope is such connections will boost innovation, jumpstart the economies of the areas that have them and lead to new businesses and efficiencies that we can’t yet imagine. But as the Google fiber launches, the efforts of organizations like Gig U and even private deployments show, fiber is still expensive — especially if you have an existing network and are required to support aging copper lines already in the ground.

Google Fiber brick

I asked Matt Beal, the CTO of CenturyLink(s ctl), for details about this shift to a new form of infrastructure and what it costs, what it means for innovation and how to justify it to…

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