Fiber to the Rescue! A Data-Driven World Needs an Adaptive Fiber Network
It’s a transformational time for network operators. Enterprise businesses, content providers and government agencies are generating more and more data, with a need to move it faster and faster. AI, 5G and IoT are leading the digital transformation but are creating volumes of data, demanding a robust and agile network that stays ahead of this surge.
Fiber to the rescue.
Fiber is one of the fastest forms of broadband technology, serving as the backbone to the internet and providing some of the fastest speeds available for effectively operating businesses of all sizes, as well as powering video entertainment, gaming and smart home devices. As a technology leader, CenturyLink’s core value is our massive fiber optic infrastructure. Here’s a look at how we use that fiber infrastructure to quickly and securely connect our customers to an enhanced digital experience.
Many companies talk about the strength of their network, but CenturyLink has spent the past 20 years creating its global and national long-haul network by carefully selecting fiber infrastructure from some of the best domestic and international companies in the world through various acquisitions. We operate approximately 450,000 route miles of fiber across our global network, one of the most deeply peered and well-connected networks in the world. That fiber provides connectivity and network solutions to customers worldwide and connects continents by crossing oceans with sub-sea fiber. We designed a fully redundant network foundation with multiple routes to maximize availability. This network benefits businesses, web scalers, government agencies and providers seeking reliable fiber capacity that can scale to meet the next wave of data that is changing the way we live, work, and interact.
Our fiber and conduit reach deeper into metro markets responding to low latency data delivery needs from robotic manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, virtual reality applications, and more. CenturyLink connects more than 150,000 enterprise buildings directly to the data and applications they need to respond and operate in the digital age. Fiber provides the capacity needed to connect in real-time to cloud-based services, saving time, simplifying operations, and delivering products and services faster than ever imagined. CenturyLink provides high-capacity, private connectivity to more than 2,200 public and private cloud data centers across the globe, including top web scalers like AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. We continue to invest in expanding our fiber network and the number of on-net fiber-fed buildings and are committed to bringing that fiber directly into customer sites, covering more and more “last mile” distances. Through our metro networks, CenturyLink offers highly scalable and dynamic business solutions, including a full mix of virtual network services and applications that enable instant response to the accelerating demands of a data-driven world.
Dark fiber allows customers to create highly scalable networks, allowing for the expansion of capacity by simply adding more electronics to the end of the fiber. We actively sell dark fiber to an array of content providers and large enterprises and are working with major wireless operators to support them with their 5G initiatives to expand their network and capabilities. Over the past three years, CenturyLink created the largest ultra-low-loss fiber network in the world by expanding its network capacity by 3.5 million miles of fiber across the U.S. and has invested heavily in metro and regional network expansions. This expanded fiber network positions CenturyLink to meet the needs of companies seeking highly reliable, low-latency network infrastructure designed to move massive amounts of data.
Our local fiber presence also allows us to bring the cloud closer to businesses with edge compute and storage resources located throughout the country. CenturyLink is taking its fiber assets and combining them with our widely distributed central offices, data centers, and local network points of presence to distribute computing resources at the edge of the network. We just announced that we’ll invest several hundred-million-dollars into an edge-focused strategy that includes creating more than 100 initial edge compute locations across the U.S. By utilizing our facilities, we can move our customers’ computing resources very close to the network edge allowing businesses and government agencies to leverage a highly diverse, global fiber network with edge facilities designed to serve their local locations within 5 milliseconds of latency. We are currently exploring use cases for deploying customer-facing and infrastructure services at the edge, including those in support of 5G rollouts. As a technology company, we are constantly evaluating products and services that we can integrate with our customers’ applications to enhance their businesses.
CenturyLink’s network was designed to help meet our customers’ business challenges. Whether it’s dark fiber for supporting 5G deployment, adaptive networking for multinational enterprises or SD-WAN and high-speed broadband for small and medium businesses, we can meet their location-specific network challenges.
We will continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in our fiber infrastructure every year by expanding our metro fiber footprint, continually adding new buildings, and increasing our long-haul fiber inventory. Taking our fiber deeper and closer to customers helps us to be ready for inevitable technology changes.
Our fiber is fueling growth and innovation and we will continue to find ways to enhance and expand it to meet our customers growing and evolving needs. As a trusted connection to the networked world, we are focused on delivering technology that enables the digital business and enhances the customer experience.