CenturyLink would like to be your communications hook-up for more than the next 100 years. Historically a regional wireline local and long-distance telephone provider, it's connecting with the times by transforming into a broadband and network services provider for residential, business, and government clients. The company is the third-largest US wireline telecom company by total access lines, and is the incumbent local carrier in 37 states, though three-quarters of its lines are in just a dozen, mostly in the West and Midwest. Additionally, CenturyLink provides wireless service through Verizon, and paid television service through its own Prism TV (in selected markets) with satellite provider DIRECTV.
CenturyLink operates almost 75% of its total access lines in portions of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.
It also provides local service in parts of Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming,
The company operates nearly 57 data centers throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
CenturyLink divides its business into four segments: regional markets (residential customers and small, midsized, and regional businesses), business markets (government and large enterprise), wholesale markets (other communications providers), and Savvis (hosting and network services to global commercial customers). Consumer and business operations account for the most sales, each making up about 33% of revenue in 2013.
CenturyLink categorizes its products and services into legacy services (traditional phone, about 42% of sales) and strategic services (data and network connection, about 50%). Its strategic services include private line, broadband, hosting, video, Internet telephony (VoIP), multi-protocol line switching (MPLS), and wireless services. The remaining sales come mostly from data integration services, such as network management and construction and equipment installation and maintenance.
In 2013, CenturyLink's revenue dipped to about $18 billion from $18.4 billion, down 1.5% from 2012. A $604 million decrease in legacy service revenue was mostly responsible for the reduced revenue as customers switched to Internet and wireless telecommunications services.
The company posted a $239 million loss in 2013 after making $777 million in 2012. The loss was blamed on lower revenue, a $1 billion charge for goodwill impairment, and a $235 million charge for a lawsuit settlement.
Cash flow from operations dropped to $5.5 billion in 2013 from $6 billion in 2012. The decrease came from the loss income adjusted for non-cash items, a decrease in the loss on early retirement of debt, a decrease in the change in the retirement benefits and a decrease in the change in other non-current assets and liabilities-.
CenturyLink has grown significantly through acquisitions in the past few years. In 2013, the company bolstered its cloud offerings with the acquisitions of AppFog and Tier 3. The company also opened a cloud development center. The company expanded its broadband capabilities, adding 6.7 terabits per second capacity to its backbone. It also began offering broadband speeds up to 1 gigbabit per second in parts of 16 cities.