CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) may be considering options for the future of its data center business, but regardless of its choice the service provider has connected its fiber network to a total of 300 third-party data centers.
Since 2012, the service provider has been extending more of its existing fiber network to a host of data center providers in its wireline territory.
Leveraging its fiber network to serve data centers makes sense. Today, CenturyLink has a 250,000 route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 300,000 route-mile international transport network.
"Building out our fiber to third-party data center began three years ago," Eric Barrett, director of network product management for CenturyLink in an interview with FierceTelecom. "In a lot of cases our customers are buying services from multiple providers and I think that's increasing more with the adoption of cloud because they're buying software as a service (SaaS) on virtual infrastructure."
While demand varies, CenturyLink's cloud customers are asking for five to 10 different providers, meaning the telco has to be able to connect to various centers that support these services.
Barrett said that "in all of our RFPs and RFIs, the fastest growing requirement is to be able to connect to more providers."
Case in point was its recent agreement with CyrusOne to connect five of its data centers with its fiber network. By the beginning of next year, CenturyLink's fiber network will be connected within CyrusOne's Austin III, downtown Cincinnati, Houston West III, San Antonio II and Sterling, Va., data centers.
While he could not reveal any new agreements, Barrett said that CenturyLink is in discussions with multiple large data center providers about installing fiber to connect to their centers.
"This is about telco delivery of services and we're delivering it more in the way of a telco," Barrett said. "When you get into cloud services, and we do have another program underway we're connecting into other data center providers facilities."
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