CenturyLink taps Corning for US fibre network expansion

Created July 31, 2019
Technologies and Products

As customer demand for high-capacity, low-latency data transport continues to grow, CenturyLink, expanding its US intercity network by 4.7 million miles of fibre, using 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. CenturyLink says 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 IoT.

“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’s 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 powerful asset in CenturyLink’s vast 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.

“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 Fibre and Cable. “With the expanded optical reach and capacity provided by our ultra-low-loss fibre, 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. 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.

For more information, visit www.centurylink.com


This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.