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CenturyLink, Inc. is a global technology company headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana that provides communications, network services, security, cloud solutions, voice and managed services to customers worldwide. The company is a member of the S&P 500 index and the Fortune 500.[6] Its communications services include local and long-distance voice, broadband, Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), private line (including special access), Ethernet, hosting (including cloud hosting and managed hosting), data integration, video, network, public access, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), information technology and other ancillary services.[7] CenturyLink also serves global enterprise customers across North America, Latin America, EMEA and Asia Pacific.[8]

CenturyLink, Inc.
Formerly
Central Telephone and Electronics, Inc.
Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
CenturyTel, Inc.
Public
Traded asNYSECTL
S&P 500 Component
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1930[1]
Headquarters,
Area served
North America, LATAM, EMEA and Asia Pacific
Key people
Jeff Storey (CEO)[2]
ServicesNetwork, Cloud Security, Voice, Managed Services, Big Data as a Services, Multi-Cloud Management, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, SaaS Apps, Cloud Connect, Internet, Phone, TV
RevenueIncrease US$ 23.443 billion (2018)[3]
Decrease US$ 570 million (2018)[4]
Total assetsDecrease US$ 70.256 million (2018)[4]
Total equityDecrease US$ 19.828 million (2018)[4]
Number of employees
Decrease 45,000 (2018)[4]
SubsidiariesCenturyTel companies
Embarq
Qwest
Savvis
Level 3 Communications[5]
Websitewww.centurylink.com

Contents

HistoryEdit

 
CenturyLink Technology Center of Excellence in Monroe, LA

The earliest predecessor of CenturyLink was the Oak Ridge Telephone Company in Oak Ridge, Louisiana, which was owned by F. E. Hogan, Sr. In 1930, Hogan sold the company, with 75 paid subscribers, to William Clarke and Marie Williams, for $500. They moved the switchboard to the Williams family front parlor. In 1946, the Williams' son, Clarke McRae Williams, received ownership of the family's telephone company as a wedding gift.[1] In 1947, Clarke Williams learned the telephone company in Marion, Louisiana was for sale. With a loan from business associate Joe Sydney Carter, Clarke purchased the Marion Telephone Company and eventually made it his base of operation as he grew his company through more acquisitions. CenturyLink still maintains offices in the former headquarters building.[9] The company remained as a family-operated business until it became incorporated in 1968.[1][10]

1967-1999Edit

By 1967, Oak Ridge Telephone Company served three states with 10,000 access lines. That year, the company was incorporated as Central Telephone and Electronics. Clarke M. Williams served as president and chairman of the board.[1] Between 1972 and 1975, Clarke gradually moved his headquarters from Marion to Monroe, Louisiana, to access the larger employee base and to be near the airport.

 
Century Telephone logo

In 1971, the company was renamed as Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc.[1][10] In 1972, Century Telephone acquired the La Crosse Telephone Corporation, of Wisconsin.[1]

On October 24, 1978, Century Telephone moved to the New York Stock Exchange for the first time and began to trade under the ticker symbol CTL.[1]

Century Telephone performed well during the long bear market of the 1970s, as its stock rose over fourfold. The company provided telephone service in parts of 14 states by that time.[11]

In 1981, Century Telephone acquired War Telephone in West Virginia.[12]

In 1982, Century Telephone's earnings peaked at $14 million, then declined in 1983 following the early 1980s recession, and finally began to recover in 1984. However, the 1983 decline led to a loss of half the value of the company's stock in 1984.[11]

In 1985, both earnings and the stock price had recovered to new record highs. But by then, the company had accumulated $206 million in long-term debt.[11] Century Telephone sold the operations of War Telephone and two other companies to Colonial Telephone for $4.66 million.[13]

In 1987, the stock price nearly doubled from its low that year, and from its old 1982 record high, before falling back by a third in the 1987 stock market crash. Earnings had steadily grown each year from their 1983 low, and by 1987 reached nearly US$20 million.[11]

In 1989, Century Telephone Enterprises acquired Universal Telephone, Inc. for US$90 million in cash.[1] During the late 1980s the company began a long trend in which it performed extremely well. The stock split three-for-two twice in this period, as earnings steadily grew, through the 1990-1991 recession, and by year-end 1991, they reached nearly US$40 million, double from what they had been in 1987.[11]

In 1992, Century Telephone acquired Central Telephone Company of Ohio, a Centel subsidiary, for $135 million. The acquisition served more than 65,000 access lines, and added 20% to Century's access line total. Also that year Glen F. Post III became Chief Executive Officer and, named Vice Chairman of the Board of Century Telephone.[1]

In 1993, Century Telephone revenues were over $425 million, up from about $350 million in 1992. 1993 earnings were nearly $80 million, up from about $70 million in 1992, excluding a nearly $16 million charge in 1992 due to the cumulative effect from an accounting change that year.[11][14] Also in 1993 the company split its stock three-for-two yet again. However, by that time, the company had accumulated nearly $520 million in long-term debt.[11]

By 1995, Century Telephone Enterprises had been added to the S&P MidCap 400 index. Earnings had continued their steady growth trend through the 1994 economic soft landing, and by 1995 they reached over US$115 million. But the long-term debt continued to grow as well, reaching US$623 million that year.[11]

In 1997, Century Telephone acquired Delta Security Alarm Co., Inc. of Monroe, Louisiana, and its largest acquisition up until that time, Pacific Telecom, doubling its size with 660,000 additional telephone access lines in 12 states.[1] Pacific Telecom, Inc., would continue existence and was renamed CenturyTel of the Northwest, Inc.

In 1998, Century Telephone split its stock three-for-two once again. The company acquired another Monroe, Louisiana security company, Century Protection Systems, and also acquired 89,000 access lines and 19 exchanges in 21 northern Wisconsin communities from Ameritech. The affected customers had formerly been served by Wisconsin Bell. Ameritech's directory publishing operations serving those customers were also acquired.[15]

In 1999, the company was renamed as CenturyTel, Inc.[16] It split its stock three-for-two once more, and was added to the Standard & Poor's 500 Index that year.[1]

2000-PresentEdit

 
Former CenturyTel logo used by the company prior to becoming CenturyLink
 
CenturyTel office, Ann Arbor, Michigan

In 2000, CenturyTel acquired 230,500 GTE lines in Arkansas, and also bought 127,000 GTE lines in Missouri in partnership with Spectra Communications.[17][18] In Wisconsin, it acquired 133,000 additional lines, and 70,500 access lines for US$195 million from Verizon. That year CenturyTel also bought 62,650 lines for US$170 million in partnership with Telephone USA of Wisconsin, LLC.[19]

In 2001, CenturyTel acquired CSW Net, Inc. of Russellville, Arkansas, and fended off a hostile take-over attempt by ALLTEL, Inc.[20][21]

In 2002, the son of the company's original founder and Chairman of the Board Clarke M. Williams died. He was succeeded by then Vice Chairman Glen F. Post III. The company sold its wireless business to ALLTEL, to become a pure-play rural local exchange carrier. Also that year CenturyTel acquired 300,000 Verizon access lines in Alabama, and 354,000 Verizon access lines in Missouri, bringing its total operations to 22 states with 2.5 million access lines.[22]

In 2003, CenturyTel acquired half ownership of SkyComm International, Inc. in Houston, Texas, in March, to form a satellite teleport for its global Network Access Point (NAP) system. In June, CenturyTel also acquired the fiber network of Digital Teleport, Inc., a 5,700-mile (9,200 km) route running from Illinois to Texas, and adjoining states.[23] CenturyTel renamed the network company LightCore.[24] Closing out the year, in December CenturyTel acquired the Midwest Fiber Optic Network (MFON) from Level 3 Communications, Inc. in December, a stand-alone system in the same core central states as LightCore.[1]

In August 2004, it partnered with EchoStar Communications Corporation for DISH Network multi-channel digital TV.[25] In September, CenturyTel began a relationship with Cingular Wireless.[26]

In 2005, CenturyTel began a wireless voice and data service, and bought a number of fiber networks in the central United States, from KMC Telecom Holdings, Inc.[27]

In 2006, CenturyTel sold its Arizona assets to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., bringing total operations to 23 states.[1]

In May 2007, CenturyTel acquired Madison River Communications, based out of Mebane, NC and parent company to four LECs (AL, GA, IL, and NC) as well as CLEC operations in IL, LA, and NC. The LECs included Mebtel Communications, a telephone company serving Alamance County, North Carolina;[28][29] GulfTel Communications, based out of Foley, AL and serving Baldwin and surrounding counties;[30][31] Coastal Communications, based out of Hinesville, GA; and Gallatin River Communications, serving the Dixon, Galesburg, and Pekin areas of IL.

In late 2007, the Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers, ranked CenturyTel the best among six leading communications providers.

On June 2, 2009, a press release announced that the combined CenturyTel/Embarq entity would be called CenturyLink.[32] Denver-based Monigle Associates was retained to formulate the new brand strategy. The acquisition was completed on July 1, 2009.[33]

On October 19, 2009, CenturyTel and Embarq brandings were retired, and all business was officially conducted under the CenturyLink banner, continuing to trade on the NYSE under the CenturyTel stock ticker CTL. The new corporate name, CenturyLink, Inc., did not become official until May 2010.[34][35]


Products and ServicesEdit

 
CenturyLink offices in Salt Lake City, Utah

CenturyLink’s products and services focus on 3 key segments: Enterprise Business, Small Business, and Residential.[36]

CenturyLink Enterprise BusinessEdit

CenturyLink Enterprise Business provides products and services around Network, Cloud, Security, Voice, and Managed Services to enterprise customers.[37] CenturyLink’s Network services include SD WAN, MPLS/IPVPN, Hybrid WAN, Ethernet, Internet Access, Wavelength services, Dark Fiber and Private Lines.[38] CenturyLink Cloud provides Big Data as a Service, Internet of Things (IoT), Multi-Cloud Management, Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Bare Metal, SaaS Applications and Cloud Connect.[39] CenturyLink Security monitors more than a billion security events daily.[40] Services include: Cloud, Infrastructure, DDoS, Web Application, Email, and Web Security. The company also provides Analytics and Threat Management, Risk and Compliance support and Threat Research Labs.[41] CenturyLink offers voice products ranging from traditional landlines to Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) services and was recognized in 2018 by Frost & Sullivan for “growth excellence in VoIP access and SIP Trunking”.[42] CenturyLink’s Managed Services include Advanced Professional Services, IT consulting and strategic partnerships.[43]

CenturyLink Small BusinessEdit

CenturyLink Small Business provides products and services around Internet, Phone, TV and Cloud Applications.[43]

CenturyLink ResidentialEdit

CenturyLink Residential provides Internet (including Gigabit Fiber), Voice, and TV, via partnership with DirecTV.[44] The company also offers bundling with Verizon Wireless.[45]

Availability by stateEdit

 
CenturyLink Availability Map by Zip Code

CenturyLink residential services are available in the following states:[46]

Arkansas Illinois New Jersey Oregon Florida Minnesota Oklahoma Virginia
Arizona Indiana New Mexico Tennessee Georgia Missouri Ohio Washington
Arkansas Iowa North Carolina Texas Idaho Montana Pennsylvania Wisconsin
Colorado Michigan North Dakota Utah Kansas Nebraska South Carolina Wyoming
Louisiana Nevada South Dakota

FiberEdit

CenturyLink Fiber is a fiber to the premises service in the United States, providing broadband Internet and Prism TV to a small and very slowly growing number of locations. The service was first introduced to Omaha, Nebraska,[47] and next rolled out to Las Vegas, Nevada,[48] with plans for expansion to several other markets.[49] Unlike the company's existing high speed Internet deployments, which utilize fiber-to the node/neighborhood to increase the speed of ADSL2+ speeds up to 20/2 Mbit/s, Vectored VDSL2+ speeds up to 140/10Mbit/s, in these markets CenturyLink now installs their fiber optic cable all the way to the home or business with speeds up to 1,000 Mbit/s download and 1,000 Mbit/s upload[50] using Calix Optical Network Terminals.[51] On Feb. 2, 2014, CenturyLink announced the availability of Gigabit fiber service to multi-tenant businesses in Salt Lake City and surrounding communities.[52] On Aug. 5, 2014, CenturyLink announced the expansion of its gigabit fiber service to 16 additional markets.[53] On Sep, 15, 2015, CenturyLink announced the expansion of its gigabit fiber service to residential and business customers in six additional states, increasing the company's service coverage to select areas of 17 states.[54]

Gigabit Fiber markets

State Availability by City[55]
Arizona[56] Flagstaff, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Prescott, Safford, Sierra Vista-Douglas, Tucson, Yuma
Colorado[57] Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley, Pueblo
Florida[58] Arcadia, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Clewiston, Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Ocala, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, Punta Gorda, Sebring, Tallahassee, The Villages
Georgia[59] Hinesville
Iowa[60] Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Des Moines-West Des Moines, Dubuque, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Waterloo-Cedar Falls
Idaho[61] Boise City, Burley, Hailey, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, Rexburg, Twin Falls
Louisiana[62] Lafayette, Ruston
Minnesota[63] Alexandria, Bemidji, Duluth, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Rochester, St. Cloud
Missouri[64] Columbia, Jefferson City, Warrensburg
Montana[65] Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula
Nebraska[66] Grand Island, Omaha-Council Bluffs
Nevada[67] Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
New Mexico[68] Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Santa Fe
North Carolina[69] Burlington, Dunn, Durham-Chapel Hill, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Greensboro-High Point, Greenville, Henderson, Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, Jacksonville, Kill Devil Hills, Morehead City, New Bern, Pinehurst-Southern Pines, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Washington, Wilson
North Dakota[70] Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo
Ohio[71] Mansfield, Wooster, Youngstown-Warren-Boardman
Oregon[72] Albany, Bend-Redmond, Corvallis, Eugene, Grants Pass, Hermiston-Pendleton, Medford, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Prineville, Salem
Pennsylvania[73] Gettysburg, Harrisburg-Carlisle, York-Hanover
South Dakota[74] Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Yankton
Texas[75] Austin-Round Rock, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Killeen-Temple, Stephenville
Utah[76] Cedar City, Heber, Logan, Ogden-Clearfield, Provo-Orem, Salt Lake City, St. George, Summit Park
Virginia[77] Charlottesville
Washington[78] Aberdeen, Bellingham, Bremerton-Silverdale, Kennewick-Richland, Longview, Moses Lake, Olympia-Tumwater, Port Angeles, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Spokane-Spokane Valley, Walla Walla, Yakima
Wisconsin[79] Baraboo, La Crosse-Onalaska, Madison, Marinette, Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Platteville
Wyoming[80] Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Jackson, Laramie, Rock Springs

Data centersEdit

On May 2, 2017 CenturyLink, Inc. completed the previously announced sale of its data centers and colocation business to funds advised by BC Partners, in a consortium including Medina Capital Advisors and Longview Asset Management. The deal was worth approximately $1.86 billion with CenturyLink retaining an approximately 10% equity stake in the consortium's newly formed global secure infrastructure company, Cyxtera Technologies.[36]

Organizational structureEdit

CenturyLink is the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers. CenturyLink has customers in more than 60 countries.[81]

Leadership Team
Name Title
Jeff Storey[82] Chief Executive Officer
Shaun Andrews[83] Executive Vice President, Product Management
Richard Batelaan[84] Executive Vice President, North American Operations
Gaurav Chand[85] Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Neel Dev[86] Executive Vice President and CFO
Andrew Dugan[87] Chief Technology Officer
Stacey W. Goff[88] Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer
Fletcher Keister[89] Chief Transformation Officer
Lisa Miller[90] President, Wholesale, Indirect Channels and Alliances
Edward Morche[91] President, Strategic Enterprise and Government Markets
Maxine L. Moreau[92] President, Consumer Markets
Laurinda Pang[93] President, International and Global Accounts Management
Scott A. Trezise[94] Executive Vice President, Human Resources

AcquisitionsEdit

 
CenturyLink's combined coverage following Embarq acquisition. Dark fiber and lit fiber assets are shown

On October 27, 2008, Embarq announced that it would be acquired by CenturyTel, Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at about $6 billion.[95][35] CenturyTel's CEO Glen Post would remain CEO of the merged company following the acquisition,[96] and remained CEO as of 2018.[97] Embarq was the former landline business of Sprint and served cities in 18 states, including Nevada, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.[98] The deal made CenturyTel the third-largest landline phone provider in Pennsylvania behind Verizon (through both Verizon Pennsylvania and Verizon North) and Comcast.

 
Network map of combined Qwest and CenturyLink assets

On April 22, 2010, CenturyLink (at this point still legally known as CenturyTel, Inc.) announced it would acquire Qwest in a stock-for-stock transaction.[99] Under the agreement, CenturyLink would swap 0.1664 of its shares for each share of Qwest; as a result, CenturyLink shareholders prior to the merger wound up with 50.5% share of ownership in the combined company, while former Qwest shareholders gained the remaining 49.5%.[100] The valuation of CenturyLink's purchase was $12 billion.[95] The merger was completed on April 1, 2011.[101][102]

The addition of Qwest allowed CenturyLink to become the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, and the largest landline phone provider in the state of Colorado.[97] The new company has 17 million access lines, 5 million broadband customers, and 1.4 million video subscribers across 37 states.[103] The merger also made CenturyLink owner of one of the so-called Baby Bells: Qwest included what was once US West, the Baby Bell for much of the western United States.

On July 15, 2011,[98] CenturyLink acquired Savvis, Inc., a global provider of cloud infrastructure and hosted IT services for $2 billion, which represented all outstanding shares of Savvis common stock at $40 per share.[95][104] This acquisition allowed CenturyLink to provide expanded managed hosting and cloud services.[105]

On December 4, 2012,[106] CenturyLink launched an integrated suite of cloud services called savvisdirect.[107] Savvisdirect was an expansion of CenturyLink’s portfolio of Savvis cloud services and includes cloud application hosting,[108] cloud servers,[109] cloud storage,[110] and private cloud[111] for small businesses, IT administrators and developers. CenturyLink later shuttered the savvisdirect subsidiary, consolidating their cloud service offerings internally.

On October 16, 2012 Savvis acquired ITO Business Division of Ciber thereby adding managed services to the portfolio.[112]

On June 14, 2013, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of AppFog, a Portland-based Platform as a Service used by over 100,000 developers to automate the deployment of software on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and OpenStack.[113]

On November 19, 2013, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Tier 3, a Seattle-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform, and advanced cloud management company[114] based on Cloud Foundry.[115]

On December 8, 2014, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of DataGardens, Inc., a Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider based in Edmondton, Alberta, Canada.[116]

On December 11, 2014, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Cognilytics, a predictive analytics and big data service provider.[117]

On March 30, 2016, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of netAura, a security services company that focuses on cybersecurity, security information and event management (SIEM), analytics and vulnerability management.[118]

On January 9, 2017, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Edison, New Jersey-based SEAL Consulting, a leading SAP services provider. This expanded CenturyLink’s existing integrated SAP capabilities of hosting and managed services to include integration and software implementation.[119]

On October 31, 2016, CenturyLink announced its intent to acquire Level 3 Communications in a deal valued at around $25 billion.[120] After securing the necessary regulatory approvals, CenturyLink closed the transaction on November 1, 2017.[121]

Naming rights and sponsorshipsEdit

Venues & SponsorshipsEdit

Criticism and controversyEdit

The Federal Communications Commission ordered CenturyLink to pay a record $16 million for failing to alert authorities of a preventable programming error that left nearly 11 million people in seven states without access to emergency services for six hours in 2014.[123][124]

In December 2018, CenturyLink attracted criticism after employing DNS hijacking to display an advertisement for its security and parental control software to residential subscribers in Utah, with service disrupted to users until they read and acknowledge the advertising. CenturyLink stated that the message was presented to comply with a recently-enacted Utah state law, requiring ISPs to inform users "of the ability to block material harmful to minors". Bill sponsor and Utah State Senate member Todd Weiler stated that the law did not require that service be disrupted until the notice is acknowledged; the law only requires that this notice be delivered in a conspicuous manner, and suggested manners such as inclusion in a monthly bill.[125]

On December 27, 2018, a “nationwide outage” caused 9-1-1 service to be disrupted across the country. The Federal Communications Commission says it will investigate.[126][127] In some areas the outage lasted nearly twelve hours and was the third shutdown of the year following outages in April and November 2018. ATM and point of sale credit card machines were also widely affected.[128]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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