CenturyLink announces Tacoma expansion

A CenturyLink and Click truck near Wright Park on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma on Tuesday.
A CenturyLink and Click truck near Wright Park on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma on Tuesday.

CenturyLink announced Tuesday that its broadband Internet service is available to 36,000 homes in North and Central Tacoma.

The announcement follows several weeks of speculation among Tacoma residents who have noted the presence of CenturyLink trucks in various areas of the city.

CenturyLink owns about 30,000 utility poles jointly with the city of Tacoma, Tacoma Public Utilities Director Bill Gaines said in September. Earlier this year the company notified Tacoma Power of its intent to string fiber on those poles.

“We’re invested in the area and will continue to build out across Tacoma for quite some time,” said Sue Anderson, CenturyLink vice president of operations for Washington, in a press release.

Gaines said Monday that someone from CenturyLink told him that the company intends to continue stringing fiber through the start of the new year.

The press release says customers can get speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second, though not all areas of Tacoma will have that speed right away. The cost for up to 1 gig service by itself will be $109.95 with a yearlong contract. When bundled with telephone service, the cost increases to $124.95 per month with a one-year contract.

CenturyLink joins Comcast and several Tacoma-based Internet service providers that ride on city-owned wires for broadband Internet access.

Since March, Tacoma leaders have discussed what to do about the city’s own Click Cable TV and its associated fiber network. In the wake of a Kirkland broadband company’s offer to lease the system, some city officials have said Tacoma should consider keeping Click and using it to provide high-speed Internet service.

Kate Martin: 253-597-8542