Lumen Technologies, Inc.
Formerly
  • Central Telephone and Electronics, Inc.
  • Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
  • CenturyTel, Inc.
  • CenturyLink, Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryTelecommunications
Founded1930; 94 years ago (1930)
HeadquartersMonroe, Louisiana, U.S.
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Kate Johnson (CEO)
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
RevenueDecrease US$17.48 billion (2022)
Decrease US$95 million (2022)
Decrease US$−1.55 billion (2022)
Total assetsDecrease US$45.58 billion (2022)
Total equityDecrease US$10.44 billion (2022)
Number of employees
c. 29,000 (December 2022)
Subsidiaries
ASN
  • 3356
Websitelumen.com
Footnotes / references
[1][2]

Lumen Technologies, Inc. (formerly CenturyLink) is an American telecommunications company headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana, that offers communications, network services, security, cloud solutions, voice, and managed services. The company was a member of the Fortune 500[3] and the S&P 500 index from 1999 until 2023.[4] 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.[5] Lumen also serves global enterprise customers across North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia Pacific.[6]

History

The earliest predecessor of Lumen 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. In 1946, Clarke McRae Williams received ownership of the family's telephone company as a wedding gift. Clarke purchased the Marion Telephone Company and eventually made it his base of operation as he grew his company through more acquisitions. The company remained as a family-operated business until it became incorporated in 1968. It went public in 1971.[7]

1967–1999

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.[7]

In 1971, the company was renamed Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc.[7] In 1972, Century Telephone acquired the La Crosse Telephone Corporation, of Wisconsin. This began a multi-decade spree of acquisitions which grew the size of the company.[8] The company went public in 1978 on the New York Stock Exchange.[7]

In 1985, Century Telephone sold several subsidiaries to Colonial Telephone for $4.66 million.[9]

In 1987, the stock price rapidly increased from its low that year, before dropping in the 1987 stock market crash. Earnings grow each year from their 1983 low, and by 1987 they reached nearly US$20 million.[10]

From 1991-1995 the company continued its acquisition strategy which added tens of thousand of phone lines and grew the long term debt from $205 million to $602 million with $115 million in annual net income. By 1995 it was the 16th largest communications company in the United States with over 3000 employees. Two hundred employees were unionized through the Communications Workers of America. [11]

In 1997 the company bought Pacific Telecom for $1.5 billion. This acquisition added 1.9 million cell lines to Century's network and nearly doubled the size of the company. After the acquisition Century's network served 21 states and 2 million customers.[12] The company sold off some of its telephone assets to smaller competitors for hundreds of millions of dollars.[13][14]

2000s

In 2000, the company acquired 490,000 telephone lines from Verizon for $1.5 billion. It then sold "substantially all" of its wireless business to Alltel for $1.59 billion in 2002. Through 2002 the company grew to nearly 7000 employees with approximately 1500 of them organized in various unions. At this time the company had about $800 million in net income and $3.6 billion in debt.[15] In 2003 the company acquired Digital Teleport ($39 million) and Level 3 communications ($16 million) which then formed some of its main assets and expanded the company's fiber network offering.[8] By 2004, CenturyTel was the eighth largest local telephone provider in the United States. In this time it paid down its long term debt to $2.7 billion and its net income fell to $337 million annually. [16] In 2005, CenturyTel began offering satellite television services. In 2007, "workforce reduction" resulted in 600 employees laid-off and received $336 million in Federal and State subsidy. CenturyTel received an additional $333 million the previous year. Most of these funds were received through the "High Cost Support Loop" program. From 2004-2007 CenturyTel repurchased approximately $2 billion in shares.[17]

2008 merger with Embarq and name change to CenturyLink

CenturyLink logo
CenturyLink logo, used for their residential services

On October 27, 2008, Embarq announced that it would be acquired by CenturyTel, Inc. in an all-stock transaction valued at about $6 billion.[18][19] CenturyTel's CEO Glen Post would remain CEO of the merged company following the acquisition,[20] and remained CEO until 2018.[21] Embarq was the former landline business of Sprint and served cities in 18 states, including Nevada, Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio.[22] The deal made CenturyTel the third-largest landline phone provider in Pennsylvania behind Verizon (through both Verizon Pennsylvania and Verizon North) and Comcast. On June 2, 2009, a press release announced that the combined CenturyTel/Embarq entity would be called CenturyLink.[23] Denver-based Monigle Associates was retained to formulate the new brand strategy. The acquisition was completed on July 1, 2009.[24]

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.[25][26]

2010 merger with Qwest

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.[27] 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%.[28] The valuation of CenturyLink's purchase was $12 billion.[18] The merger was completed on April 1, 2011.[29][30][31]

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.[21] The new company has 17 million access lines, 5 million broadband customers, and 1.4 million video subscribers across 37 states.[32] The merger also made CenturyLink owner of one of the Former Regional Bell Operating Companies: the successor to US West, which had been purchased by Qwest in 2000.[33]

Further acquisitions (2011–2019)

On July 15, 2011,[22] 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.[18][34] This acquisition allowed CenturyLink to provide expanded managed hosting and cloud services.[35]

On December 4, 2012,[36] CenturyLink launched an integrated suite of cloud services called Savvisdirect.[37] Savvisdirect was an expansion of CenturyLink's portfolio of Savvis cloud services and includes cloud application hosting,[38] cloud servers,[39] cloud storage,[40] and private cloud[41] 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 the ITO Business Division of Ciber, thereby adding managed services to the portfolio.[42]

On June 14, 2013, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of AppFog, a Portland-based Platform as a Service provider, used by over 100,000 developers to automate the deployment of software on public clouds, such as Amazon Web Services and OpenStack.[43]

On November 19, 2013, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Tier 3, a Seattle-based infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform, an advanced cloud management company[44] based on Cloud Foundry.[45]

On December 8, 2014, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of DataGardens, Inc., a Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.[46]

On December 11, 2014, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Cognilytics, a predictive analytics and big data service provider.[47]

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.[48]

On October 31, 2016, CenturyLink announced its intent to acquire Level 3 Communications in a deal valued at around $25 billion.[49] After securing the necessary regulatory approvals, CenturyLink closed the transaction on November 1, 2017.[50] This acquisition can now be viewed as a takeover from the inside. Level3 shareholders would only approve the deal if CenturyLink retired their CFO and eventually CEO. Eventually all former CenturyLink executives would be replaced by former Level3 managers leaving only HR and legal executives in place.

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.[51] CenturyLink ended 2017 with $1.3 billion in net income.[52]

By the end of 2018, CenturyLink had $35 billion in long term debt. It determined it has overestimated the value of its goodwill and wrote down a $2.7 billion loss. This resulted in a $1.7 billion loss in net income for 2018.[52]

On September 10, 2019, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of Streamroot, a provider of technology to improve video and static content delivery within bandwidth constrained areas.[53]

2020 name change to Lumen

On September 14, 2020, CenturyLink, Inc announced that it had changed its name to Lumen Technologies, Inc.[54] Effective with the opening of the trading day on Sept. 18, 2020, the company stock ticker changed from CTL to LUMN. The CenturyLink brand will continue to be the customer-facing brand for traditional copper-based services. Fiber-based products and services will use the brand Quantum Fiber.[55]

2021 ILEC asset sale

On August 3, 2021, Lumen announced it would sell its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) operations in 20 states to Apollo Global Management for $7.5 billion.[56] The assets being sold are located in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Essentially, Lumen was jettisoning the core of the old CenturyTel and Embarq, including its assets in its home state of Louisiana. Lumen will retain ILEC operations in 16 states, including Florida, Nevada, and the states formerly served by Qwest: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.[57] The sale closed in October 2022; the sold ILEC operations were rebranded as Brightspeed.[58]

Products and services

Lumen's products and services focus on three segments: enterprise business, small business, and residential.[59]

Lumen enterprise business

Lumen Enterprise Business provides products and services around network, cloud, security, voice, and managed services to enterprise customers.[60] Lumen's network services include SD-WAN, MPLS/IPVPN, hybrid WAN, Ethernet, Internet access, wavelength services, dark fiber, and private lines.[61] Lumen 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.[62] Lumen Security monitors more than a billion security events daily.[63] 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.[64] 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".[65] Lumen's managed services include advanced professional services, IT consulting, and strategic partnerships.[66]

Lumen content delivery network

Lumen is a global content delivery network (CDN) with 170 Tbit/s of global edge capacity in over 90 cities worldwide.[67] Its CDN offering is supported by a peer-to-peer CDN overlay to expand capacity, and a load balancer to distribute traffic for multi-CDN architectures. The points of presence are located over all continents, as shown on this map.

Lumen has developed the edge capabilities of its global CDN through its partnership with Section.io. They now offer a flexible edge framework on which you can bring applications to boost performance, optimize websites and secure web assets (using external apps such as ThreatX, Perimeter X, etc.). They received a Frost & Sullivan Award for their web security offering in 2021.[68]

In October 2023 Lumen announced sale of select CDN customer contracts to Akamai, winding down the CDN business. [69]

CenturyLink small business

CenturyLink Small Business provides products and services around Internet, Phone, TV, and Cloud Applications.[70] Like CenturyLink Residential, CenturyLink Small Business offers DirecTV, but the residential and business packages are designed for the different settings.[71]

CenturyLink residential

CenturyLink Residential provides Internet (either DSL or Gigabit Fiber, depending on the package), voice, and TV, via partnership with DirecTV.[72] The company also offers bundling with Verizon Wireless.[73]

Availability by state

CenturyLink Availability Map by Zip Code

CenturyLink residential services are available in the following states:[74][75][76]

CenturyLink business services are available in the following states:[77]

Fiber

Quantum Fiber is a fiber to the premises service in the United States, providing broadband Internet to a small and fast growing number of locations. The service was first introduced to Omaha, Nebraska,[78] and next rolled out to Las Vegas, Nevada,[79] with plans for expansion to several other markets.[80] 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[81] using Calix Optical Network Terminals.[82] On February 2, 2014, CenturyLink announced the availability of Gigabit fiber service to multi-tenant businesses in Salt Lake City and surrounding communities.[83] On August 5, 2014, CenturyLink announced the expansion of its gigabit fiber service to 16 additional markets.[84] On September 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.[85]

Lumen maintains and operates dark fiber within the United States for the Department of Defense, contracting announcements indicate.[86] This is a continuation of CenturyLink's work.[87][88]

Gigabit Fiber markets

State Availability by City[89]
Arizona[90] Flagstaff, Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Prescott, Safford, Sierra Vista-Douglas, Tucson, Yuma
Colorado[91] Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Fort Collins, Grand Junction, Greeley, Pueblo
Florida[92] 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
Iowa[90] Ames, Cedar Rapids, Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, Des Moines-West Des Moines, Dubuque, Omaha-Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Waterloo-Cedar Falls
Idaho[90] Blackfoot, Boise City, Burley, Hailey, Idaho Falls, Lewiston, Pocatello, Rexburg, Twin Falls
Minnesota[93] Alexandria, Bemidji, Duluth, Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Rochester, St. Cloud
Montana[94] Billings, Bozeman, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, Missoula
Nebraska[93] Grand Island, Omaha-Council Bluffs
Nevada[93] Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise
New Jersey[95] Warren County, Hunterdon County, Sussex County
New Mexico[90] Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Santa Fe
North Dakota[94] Bismarck, Dickinson, Fargo
Oregon[93] Albany, Bend-Redmond, Corvallis, Eugene, Grants Pass, Hermiston-Pendleton, Medford, Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Prineville, Salem
South Dakota[90] Pierre, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Yankton
Utah[93] Cedar City, Heber, Logan, Ogden-Clearfield, Provo-Orem, Salt Lake City, St. George, Summit Park
Washington[93] 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
Wyoming[94] Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Jackson, Laramie, Rock Springs

Data centers

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.[59]

Organizational structure

As of 2018, Lumen is the second largest U.S. communications provider to global enterprise customers, second to Comcast.[96] CenturyLink has customers in more than 60 countries and has been named one of America's best customer service companies (alongside Frontier and Spectrum).[97][98]

Leadership Team
Name Title
Kate Johnson[99] President and Chief Executive Officer
Jay Barrows[100] President, Enterprise Sales and Public Sector
Maxine L. Moreau[101] President, Mass Markets
Andrew Dugan[102] Chief Technology Officer
Chris Stansbury[103] Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Satish Lakshmanan[104] Executive Vice President and Chief Product and Strategy Officer
Ashley Haynes-Gaspar[105] Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer
Ana White[106] Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer
Kye Prigg[107] Executive Vice President of Enterprise Operations
Stacey W. Goff[108] Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

Naming rights and sponsorships

Venue naming rights

Current

Former

Sponsorships

Outages and other technical issues

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.[110][111]

In December 2018, CenturyLink faced criticism for requiring residential customers in Utah to, via DNS hijacking, view and acknowledge a notice advertising its security and parental control software, before they could connect to the internet again. The provider claimed that this was required by a recently enacted state law, which requires all ISPs to inform users that they provide "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 (such as an advertisement within a bill or invoice) and does not require disruption of service.[112]

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.[113][114] 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.[115]

On January 8, 2020, CenturyLink was required to pay $8.9 million to customers in Minnesota in a settlement regarding over-billing. In addition to the payment, CenturyLink is required to reform billing practices and submit audits to the Minnesota Attorney General's office.[116] According to reports, CenturyLink disagreed with the charges, but settled to avoid litigation costs.[117]

On August 30, 2020, CenturyLink suffered a major technical outage due to misconfiguration in one of the company's data centers. The outage impacted tech giants such as Cloudflare, Amazon, Twitter, Xbox Live and many more. Reports indicate that all services were restored by 11:12 am ET.[118][119]

See also

References

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