CenturyLink seeks permission to shutter wholesale busy line services

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) has asked the FCC for permission to shut down its wholesale interstate Busy Line Verification (BLV) and Busy Line Interrupt (BLI) operator services in its legacy CenturyTel territory, saying there's no demand for the services.

Through its wholesale partner AT&T (NYSE: T), CenturyLink offered BLV and BLI operator services in Alabama and Missouri.

For its part, AT&T notified the FCC in a previous filing that it would shut down these services on June 4, 2016, adding that it could find a cost-effective way to continue offering them via another wholesale partner.

In its filing, AT&T cited how businesses and consumers have replaced BLV/I services with alternative services such as VoIP or mobile voice services -- neither of which offer BLV/I. An AT&T affiliate that provides BLV/I service reported that in 2013 that it received less than 10 requests per month for the service.

"CenturyLink currently offers these services through a wholesale arrangement with AT&T, but AT&T has notified CenturyLink that, as of June 4, 2016, it will no longer provide these services on a wholesale basis," CenturyLink said in an FCC filing. "CenturyLink has explored the feasibility of offering these services through another provider, but has found that doing so would require it to deploy special trunks at significant expense."

Similar to AT&T, CenturyLink sees no reason to spend money on continuing to offer BLV and BLI since it has had "no recent demand for these services."

CenturyLink said that the last time it got a request for one of these services was in 2010, adding that "There is no reason to believe this situation will change, given the nearly ubiquitous availability of alternative means of communication, including mobile phones, text messaging, email and social media."

Seeking a request to shut down these services illustrates the ongoing rapid change consumers are making to transition away from legacy TDM-based to IP-based wireline and wireless services.

For more:
- see the FCC filing (PDF)

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