CenturyLink's Colorado video franchise gets El Paso County approval

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has received the El Paso County commissioner's approval in Colorado for a cable franchise, clearing another hurdle for the telco to roll out its Prism IPTV service in the former Qwest Communications stronghold.

The service provider has also received franchise approvals in Monument, Colo. and is looking to secure similar agreements in both Colorado Springs and Fountain.

CenturyLink said it wants all four of the respective areas to grant it a video franchise before committing capital to roll out the service.   

"I think the county commissioners recognize the benefits that competition brings," Jim Campbell, a CenturyLink regional vice president, told The Gazette.

Steve Bach, Colorado Springs' mayor, asked that CenturyLink ensure that the service will be fairly distributed in both high and low-income areas. Although the telco said they will serve a number of income levels, the Gazette report said it did not "want to commit to specific numbers."

Campbell, who feels confident about getting the approvals from Colorado Springs and Fountain, said the IPTV rollout will require "a $20 million investment and provide 50 jobs initially, up to 100 eventually."

The service provider's $20 million investment will be used to deploy fiber to existing remote terminal cabinets and building out mini-video head ends in each market to deliver the service to each user.

In separate news, an RCR Wireless article citing a Wells Fargo Securities report revealed that CenturyLink sold off several of its A-Block wireless spectrum licenses to US Cellular. Jennifer Fritzsche, Senior Analyst for Wells Fargo, wrote in a research note that the move illustrates that perhaps the service provider does not see "a near term need to own a wireless asset."

During its tenure as CenturyTel, the service provider purchased 69 A- and B-Block licenses during the 700 MHz auction for $149 million.

Apart from its resale agreement with Verizon Wireless, CenturyLink has been mainly focusing on integrating Qwest and Savvis assets in addition to building out more wireline-based services.

For more:
- The Gazette has this article
- RCR Wireless covers the wireless spectrum sale

Read more:
CenturyLink to take on Comcast with its IPTV service in Colorado Springs
CenturyLink's Prism IPTV service continues to attract new customers 
CenturyLink's legacy services drag earnings down 5.2% amidst gains in broadband, business, IPTV 
IPTV in the first quarter of 2012