CenturyLink Plans Edge Buildout

August 12th, 2019 by · 7 Comments

The rise of the edge has been with us for a while, and CenturyLink has until now let others do something about it. But this morning the company announced a significant new plan to invest in its own edge infrastructure.

While details of the buildout are scarce, CenturyLink plans to invest ‘several hundred million dollars’ in support of edge computing services. The expansion will involve the creation of 100+ initial edge locations around the US, from which the company plans to support edge compute, hybrid cloud, and managed services.

They will be targeting the whole range of potential customers, from enterprises to hyperscale, to mobile carriers, to systems integrators, supporting whatever blend of IoT AI, and machine learning might be needed down the road.

It has been a while since CenturyLink (either the legacy company or Level 3) has spent significant resources on its US data center footprint. The fact that they are doing so could be a significant shift, and it’s one I doubt they would be doing unless they already have a customer or two in the wings for this sort of thing.

That being said, a broad edge data center infrastructure depends on extensive local metro connectivity and reach. It’s a more natural environment for network operators than the large carrier-neutral data center space that telcos never did that well in.

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Categories: Cloud Computing · Datacenter

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7 Comments So Far

  • Anonymous says:

    CL and L3 exited the data center business because they clearly sucked at it. Has something changed since then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Was thinking the same thing – didn’t they sell a bunch of datacenters right after the LVLT deal closed?

  • Anon says:

    CenturyLink sold its data center portfolio which was largely Savvis DCs. That business was renamed Cyxtera and it’s owned by BC Partners

  • Kidwell1 says:

    What you all forget is these guys and the baby bells own shitloads of property in thier/ Centurylinks 37 state local telco areas, they are called COs and there are also operator services and 911 centers they manage. In Centurylink case they have tons of space in at least 1100 locations nationwide where they can easily absorb 10-20 racks of compute, spending on the power requirements. IE this is racskpace freed up by decommissioning old centrex and copper infrastructure that is effectively a hub or headend where edge compute customers can stuff gear to assure quality experiences for scores or communities nationwide. IE mini data centers. No they are not as high quality or built out as the Cyxtera centers, but that’s not what edge compute customers need, they need quickly deployable cheap centers as close to their eyeballs as possible.
    Centurylink has been angling to use this real estate for some time, in 2013 they were trying to find customers willing to pay 4-600/ month for rack space connected to their then globalIP backbone. And yes it was 1100:locations nationwide. NOW they have this stuff all over the globe with L3 likely collapsing network locations in some metros into single sites, they still have 2-10 year RE leases. You can bet there are customers who want this physical proximity to their clients, not just Netflix and the gamers. The large telcos are unique in that they still need to maintain this far flung real estate.

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