CenturyLink Expands Fiber Network Across U.S. and Europe



  • CenturyLink
MONROE, LA — As customer demand for extreme high-capacity, low-latency data transport continues to grow, CenturyLink is utilizing its global multi-conduit infrastructure to expand the company's intercity network by 4.7 million miles of fiber, making it one of the largest ultra-low-loss fiber network in North America.

"Our newly built intercity fiber network, created with the latest optical technology, is another example of how our diverse fiber assets differentiate us from other network providers," said Andrew Dugan, CenturyLink chief technology officer. "Our multi-conduit infrastructure has a significant amount of capacity for supporting the growing demand for fiber and will allow us to quickly and cost effectively deploy new fiber technology now and in the future. This uniquely positions CenturyLink to meet the needs of companies seeking highly reliable, low-latency network infrastructure designed to move massive amounts of data."

Enhancing Performance Levels Across CenturyLink's Network
The first phase of this overbuild fiber network, completed in June, connects more than 50 major cities throughout the U.S. and represents another powerful asset in CenturyLink's global fiber-optic network, which includes a purpose-built long-haul network and dense metro networks designed to stay ahead of the growing data demand. The second phase of this expansion will include areas in Europe and will be completed by early 2021. The expanded infrastructure, using the latest optical innovations from Corning Incorporated, will enhance performance levels across CenturyLink's network, benefiting businesses, government agencies and providers seeking fiber to build their own secure, scalable networks for demanding next-generation applications.

This project uses Corning's SMF-28 ULL fiber and SMF-28 Ultra fiber in a hybrid Corning SST-UltraRibbon cable. With a silica core design, SMF-28 ULL fiber offers the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade optical fiber and will provide the CenturyLink network with a boost in optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) which can extend optical reach at very high data rates. The added capacity will further improve the scalability of the network to meet the high bandwidth demands of emerging technologies and applications such as 5G, augmented reality, high-definition video streaming and the Internet of Things.

CenturyLink was able to quickly and cost effectively complete the first phase of the project using multi-conduit infrastructure already in place. The company is currently selling routes to large enterprise companies and content providers in the U.S. and will work with customers to add additional routes as needed.

Key Facts:

  • CenturyLink is creating an extensive 4.7-million fiber mile intercity fiber network across the U.S. and parts of Europe.
  • The first phase, comprising 3.5 million fiber miles, was completed in June. An additional 1.2 million fiber miles will be added by early 2021.
  • CenturyLink is currently selling fiber routes to large enterprise companies and content providers in the U.S.
  • Multi-conduit infrastructure allows CenturyLink to quickly and economically deploy new fiber technology or add network capacity as needed.
  • The investments in the first phase of the fiber upgrade are included in CenturyLink's full year 2019 capital expenditure outlook.
  • The expanded fiber network utilizes Corning's SMF-28 ULL fiber and SMF-28 Ultra fiber, creating the largest ultra-low-loss fiber network in North America.


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