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CenturyLink Launches 4.7 Million Mile Fiber Expansion

Fiber stream

CenturyLink is building a 4.7-million mile “intercity” fiber network across two continents.

The company announced on Tuesday that it completed 3.5 million North American fiber miles last month. CenturyLink plans to add another 1.2 million miles in North America and Europe by early 2021.

Dugan, Andrew_CenturyLink

CenturyLink’s Andrew Dugan

The expansion connects 50-plus major U.S. cities through CenturyLink’s fiber-optic network. The company built the first 3.5 million miles through an existing multiconduit infrastructure and is selling routes to enterprises and content providers.

Andrew Dugan, CenturyLink’s chief technology officer, said the network’s “diverse fiber assets” differentiate CenturyLink from its competition.

“Our multiconduit 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,” Dugan said. “This uniquely positions CenturyLink to meet the needs of companies seeking highly reliable, low-latency network infrastructure designed to move massive amounts of data.”

CenturyLink FiberMap

CenturyLink Expanded Intercity Fiber Network

Corning Inc. is providing fiber for the network. According to Tuesday’s announcement, the Corning SMF-28 ULL fiber “offers the lowest loss of any terrestrial-grade optical fiber.”

“A next-generation network requires next-generation optical infrastructure, and we believe Corning’s fiber and cable innovations will enable CenturyLink and its customers to unlock the opportunities presented by the internet of things and other transformative technologies,” said Bernhard Deutsch, Corning’s vice president and general manager of 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 fiber network.”

Dugan told Light Reading that dark fiber is driving demand for cloud data centers.

“A lot of the big web scalers are building out pretty major data-center infrastructure and a lot of the cloud infrastructure. We’re fortunate enough to be the supplier of the fiber for that, and it’s really the increased demand for data-center connectivity between cities that’s driving the dark fiber demand that initiated this,” Dugan told the publication.

CenturyLink last month expanded its partnership with Microsoft Azure and won HPE’s award for best service provider.


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