CenturyLink adds PON-based 1-Gbps business services in five states

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) says it now offers its PON-based symmetrical 1-Gbps small and medium business (SMB) services in parts of Iowa, Idaho, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The additions bring to 17 the number of states where the operator offers such services.

The new roll out will make the 1-Gbps fiber-optic network services available to 115,000 additional U.S. business locations in the five states. CenturyLink says it also will expand its existing fiber-based SMB footprint in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

CenturyLink also provides 1-Gbps SMB services in parts of Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. In all, the new deployments will bring approximately 490,000 SMB locations access to the services, which include IP networking, VoIP, and cloud capabilities.

According to Shirish Lal, CenturyLink's chief marketing officer, the PON infrastructure enables the operator to offer services based on either MPLS or IP. He reports interest in both options, with MPLS perhaps more popular.

The ability to offer symmetrical 1-Gbps also is a key feature the PON enables, Lal says. He says CenturyLink sees increasing bandwidth demands from its SMB customers because of interest in disaster recovery, off-site storage backup, cloud, and related services. The company also is seeing success for its managed LAN offerings that leverage the network as well.

The 1-Gbps pipelines also should enable CenturyLink to offer an array of virtualized services via network functions virtualization in the future, Lal says.

Where CenturyLink also offers 1-Gbps residential fiber to the home (FTTH) services, the operator has converged residential and SMB service provision over the same infrastructure, Lal adds. Those cities include Columbia and Jefferson City, MO; Denver; Las Vegas; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Omaha; Orlando; Portland; Salt Lake City; and Seattle.

Calix says it has provided GPON technology to CenturyLink for at least some of these deployments.

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