CenturyLink used a keynote speaking session today at the Fiber Broadband Association’s Fiber Connect show to continue delivering the message of an ongoing CenturyLink transformation to that of an enterprise-first carrier. It’s a theme that’s been quite evident since closing on their acquisition of Level 3.
CenturyLink senior vice president for local network implementation Tim Walden summed it up nicely by saying CenturyLink views the enterprise business as their “Tip of the spear,” with other business opportunities flowing from it. The carrier’s priority is to be the leading provider of enterprise class services in every market that they operate in, and those markets are now spread across 60 countries, Walden noted.
Walden spent the majority of his address highlighting CenturyLink’s transformation from that of a legacy network provider that offers basic connectivity, to that of a next generation carrier with a programmable network, capable of maximizing their opportunity in an enterprise driven “platform economy.”
“We’ve got a lot of legacy processes, lot of legacy systems, lot of legacy organizations, a lot of legacy network, we’ve got to work through it and we’ve got to foster the disruption of a lot of that legacy asset, lot of those legacy resources,” said Walden. “We’ve got to rethink the way that we’re doing and investing in systems, we’ve got to rethink the way that we’re investing in technology.”
All the talk of transformation and preparing CenturyLink’s network for the growing enterprise opportunity led a reporter from Wired.com to ask the question of Walden of whether CenturyLink intends to divest and spin off their consumer network assets. Being a “network guy,” Walden declined to speculate on any future divestment plans.
It did prompt Walden to point out that CenturyLink’s consumer business is still quite significant. So significant, Walden says it would qualify as a Fortune 500 business on a stand-alone basis, generating over $5 billion in profitable revenue.
Walden also reported that the CenturyLink network reaches 26 million consumer locations, just over 10 million of which are now capable of receiving 40 Mbps service or better. Over 4 million can receive 100 Mbps or better, and over 1.8 million are gigabit capable.
Citing an ongoing commitment to the consumer market, Walden also pointed to CenturyLink’s participation in the FCC’s CAF program, which is helping fund the construction of an additional 50K route miles of fiber. CenturyLink intends to reach 1.2 million new locations with at least 10/1 Mbps capable broadband, Walden reports.