CenturyLink announces expansion of its US fibre network and plans for phase two in Europe

CenturyLink is expanding the company’s intercity network by 4.7 million miles of fibre, making it the largest ultra-low-loss fibre network in North America. The second phase of this expansion will include areas in Europe and will be completed by early 2021.

“Our newly built intercity fibre network, created with the latest optical technology, is another example of how our diverse fibre 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 fibre and will allow us to quickly and cost effectively deploy new fibre 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.”

The first phase of this overbuild fibre network, completed in June, connects more than 50 major cities throughout the US and represents another asset in CenturyLink’s global fibre 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 fibre to build their own secure, scalable networks for demanding next generation applications. The investments in the first phase of this project are included in the full year 2019 capital expenditure outlook announced on CenturyLink’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings call.

This project uses Corning’s SMF-28 ULL fibre and SMF-28 Ultra fibre in a hybrid Corning SST-UltraRibbon cable. With a silica core design, SMF-28 ULL fibre offers the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade optical fibre 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.

“A next generation network requires next generation optical infrastructure, and we believe Corning’s fibre and cable innovations will enable CenturyLink and its customers to unlock the opportunities presented by the Internet of Things and other transformative technologies,” said Dr. Bernhard Deutsch, vice president and general manager, Corning Optical Fiber and Cable. “With the expanded optical reach and capacity provided by our ultra-low-loss fiber, CenturyLink will magnify the capabilities of their expansive, scalable fibre network.”

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 US and will work with customers to add additional routes as needed.

CenturyLink is creating an extensive 4.7-million fiber mile intercity fiber network across the US and parts of Europe. The first phase, comprising 3.5 million fibre miles, was completed in June. An additional 1.2 million fibre miles will be added by early 2021.

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