CenturyLink becomes Lumen; Frontier battles Chapter 11 and more: the top-10 FierceTelecom stories in 2020

Frontier's Chapter 11 filing, layoffs by Cisco and the RDOF reverse auction are among the most popular stories on FierceTelecom in 2020. (Pixabay)

If there is ever a year that can't end fast enough, 2020 is it.

The telecommunications industry played a critical role in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether it was connecting pop-up test sites, offering free internet to low-income homes or keeping millions of employees and online students connected, the telecommunications industry rose to the challenge in 2020.

Some of the top-stories for 2020 included CenturyLink changing its name to Lumen Technologies, Frontier Communication' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, layoffs by Cisco and the RDOF auction.

Here's a look at the top-10 stories on FierceTelecom in 2020. 

10. Verizon pushes 800 Gbps of data across single wavelength of fiber—Working in tandem with Ciena and Juniper Networks, Verizon completed a test that pushed 800 Gbps of data across a single fiber wavelength on a live network.

9. Frontier Communications drops into Chapter 11 bankruptcy—On April 15, Frontier Communications filed for bankruptcy to kick-start a prearranged $10 billion debt-cutting proposal backed by its bondholders.

8. Frontier Communications spins towards a mid-March bankruptcy filing—Embattled Frontier Communications started working with its creditors to file for bankruptcy by the middle of March as part of its efforts to right the ship.

7. Coronavirus causes job security concerns for Cisco, Uber and Intel employees: survey—Expedia, Cisco, Uber and Intel were some of the companies where employees were most concerned about their job security due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey by Blind.

6. Charter throws its hat into RDOF ring, which could be bad news for CenturyLink and Frontier— Charter said it planned to participate in the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, making it the first cable operator to announce it was seeking billions of dollars from RDOF funding.

5. As bankruptcy looms, Frontier laments lack of fiber— In a presentation to investors earlier this year, Frontier said that a "significant under-investment" in fiber "created headwinds that the company is repositioning itself to reverse" through its eventual bankruptcy filing.

4. Report: Judge signs off on nearly $38M in bonuses for Frontier execs—In May, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain signed of on $37.7 million in bonuses for Frontier Communications' executives as the telco worked its way through Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

3. Cisco implements restructuring plan, including layoffs, as stock tumbles —During its Q4 earnings report, Cisco laid out a restructuring plan that included a voluntary early retirement program and layoffs.

2. CenturyLink rebrands as Lumen Technologies—After the company was founded as CenturyLink back in 1968, CenturyLink re-branded itself as Lumen Technologies in September.

1. FierceTelecom presents its 2020 class of Rising Stars—In September, FierceTelecom cast a spotlight on 11 executives who were on the rise in 2020.