Lumen and Brightspeed Handshake

Lumen’s sale of incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) operations in 20 states in the Midwest and Southeast to Brightspeed has closed. When the deal was announced in August 2021, the selling price was $7.5 billion, with the acquiring company also slated to take on $1.4 billion in Lumen debt.

According to a Lumen press release, the move will enable Lumen to “sharpen its enterprise focus” and support fiber deployment plans in the 16 states where the company is retaining its ILEC operations.

When Lumen announced plans to sell the 20-state ILEC operations, it said that the states it was retaining were the ones in which the company already had deployed a considerable amount of fiber and where it was most likely to deploy more fiber.

Lumen, formerly known as CenturyLink and which uses the CenturyLink name for its ILEC operations, has been heavily focused on the enterprise market since it acquired Level 3 in 2017. Lumen has also launched the Quantum Fiber brand for its expanding fiber footprint.

Lumen Brightspeed Synergies

Brightspeed, which is owned by investment firm Apollo Funds, sees opportunity in the divested states, which are primarily in the eastern and midwest U.S.

Just three months after the Lumen divestiture was announced, the Brightspeed name and management team were announced. Since then, the company has been announcing state-by-state fiber deployment plans for 2023 and beyond.

The company has said that it plans to invest $2 billion over the next five years to make fiber available to as many as 3 million homes and businesses.

Lumen divestiture map
Lumen Divestiture Map (Source: Lumen)

“Brightspeed has acquired a business with a strong customer base, dedicated employees and a platform for future growth,” said Lumen President and CEO Jeff Storey in today’s press release.

The largely copper-based assets that Brightspeed has acquired are likely more valuable now than they were at the time the deal was announced. Brightspeed will have 70K fiber subscribers and 1.2 million total broadband subscribers.

Over the last year, the government has made an unprecedented amount of funding available to cover some of the costs of making high-speed broadband available in unserved and underserved rural areas, and Brightspeed would appear to be in a good position to obtain some of that funding.

Just last month the company was awarded over $90 million for deployments in 29 North Carolina counties.

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2 thoughts on “Lumen 20-State ILEC Divestiture to Brightspeed Closes

  1. CenturyLink is in my area, Sun City West, AZ , I am billed from Centurylink and have their email since I have been in AZ, 2013, and have horrible, terrible experiences with connectivity issues, email going out, and many horror stories of crying and being unhappy and still unhappy with their service, that has totally changed to being able to talk to an American, to talking out of
    country, and hearing Chickens in the background. You can not speak to anyone and they have cut their hours, left us with too many
    excuese, as usual. I am unhappy today, as I was over the year, they just don’t care, We customers, pay the bills and they keep abusing us with excuses.This happens day after day after day. Century. Things are so bad, a FACEBOOK page has been activated
    with complaints upon complaints, etc.etc. Disassatified CenturyLink customers. Have email is a NEGATIVE,,,no one likes CL.

    There is plenty of $$$ available, thou the company is falling apart with trying to fix there errors, and we the paying customers have to pay the tab. What the hell is wrong on with CL? Excuse city is their real name. They DO NOTHING, AND I MEAN NOTHING TO SCREW UP THE MESS THEY HAVE CREATED. WE THE PAYING CUSTOMER IS JUST LEFT TO HAND, AND JUST A MESS.
    Would like to have a return phone call asap. Thank you.

  2. What 29 counties in North Carolina are covered under the 90 Million $ awarded to Brightspeed? I live in rural NC!

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