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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