CenturyLink prioritizes business location density in FTTP builds

CenturyLink headquarters
Image: CenturyLink

CenturyLink has scaled its GPON-based fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to reach over 14,000 multi-tenant office buildings in its wireline footprint, but all of its builds take a success-based approach, an executive told FierceTelecom.

In order to get the best bang for its FTTP buck, CenturyLink examines data about each market to best decide where it will build out fiber.  

Vernon Irvin, SVP of sales and marketing for CenturyLink’s Enterprise Business Sales unit, told FierceTelecom that its FTTP buildout focuses on locations where there’s a density of small and medium sized businesses within each MTU (multi-tenant unit), such as office buildings, office parks, or even mixed-use business and residential developments.

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In this latest fiber build, CenturyLink extended FTTP services to Phoenix, Denver, Seattle, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Tucson, Colorado Springs, and Minneapolis/Saint Paul.

“We look at leveraging market data where we have density of small businesses that have up 10 employees and mid-sized which go up to 1,000 employees and then we look at the data,” Irvin said. “We also look at where the customers in those multi-tenant unit buildings and based on that data that helps us come up with the priority of where we want to light those buildings.”

Similar to other wireline operators that have built a sizeable fiber network into major metros, CenturyLink is also looking for near-net opportunities. These include buildings that are within close proximity to the fiber it has in the ground, allowing it to rapidly scale service to business customers.

“We also have the ability to be able to within 500 feet of that multi-tenant unit to build quickly to expand into other buildings,” Irvin said. “We call that a spiderweb effect by being able to serve customers that are based on leveraging a center of customers in any MTU building.”

While a key focus for CenturyLink is on enabling SMBs to get fiber-based access that will power cloud services, the telco is just as keen to attract larger businesses that have smaller satellite offices.

“It’s a great way to say to a customer that has multiple locations in the same city and get the word out that CenturyLink is providing stable services,”  Irvin said. “This announcement is not only important because we have these 14,000 buildings, but it’s also an opportunity for our business customers in other MTU buildings that we might consider.”

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