CenturyLink/Qwest merger gets federal government customers' blessing

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and Qwest (NYSE: Q) have now gained the trust of its federal customer base as the two service providers hammered out an agreement with its government customers in its Arizona, Colorado and Utah regions.

As areas where there is a high concentration of Air Force bases and civilian agency offices, the Department of Defense (DoD) initially filed concerns over the merged company's ability to properly serve them after the deal was finalized. Following those filings, Qwest and CenturyLink vowed to lower rates for all of its government customers.

The two telcos said in a joint statement that the "agreement addresses the handling of merger-related costs, and the continued sufficiency of both high service quality and employees with needed security clearances."

Having the support of their federal civilian and defense customers will be a key asset as the two companies move to convince the public utility commissions in Arizona, Colorado and Utah to approve the companies' merger application.

Although CenturyLink has some government experience, Qwest is clearly the lead here as it is a holder of both GSA's Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise telecom contracts. Under the Networx Universal contract, the service provider has won some key task orders with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), NASA, and Veterans Affairs (VA).

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
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CenturyLink, Qwest lower rates to placate federal customers
CenturyLink-Qwest deal comes under DoD scrutiny
Qwest, CenturyLink dedicate $50 million to improve Minnesota's broadband infrastructure
CenturyLink, Qwest merger consolidates more of the landline market
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