Company History

Company History

The 2010s


On April 22, CenturyLink agreed to acquire Qwest. Qwest's origin dates to 1988 when Southern Pacific Telecom was established to lay telecommunications cable. The company began offering limited long-distance services in 1991 and changed its name to Qwest Communications in 1995. Qwest Communications became a publicly-held company with its successful initial public offering in June, 1997. In June, 2000, the company merged with U S WEST, one of the original Regional Bell Operating Companies that resulted from the divestiture of AT&T in 1984.


On July 15, CenturyLink acquired Savvis, Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions. This acquisition allows CenturyLink to achieve global scale as a managed hosting and cloud services provider and accelerates its ability to deliver those capabilities to its business customers.

With the completion of the Qwest and Savvis transactions CenturyLink became a national, industry-leading communications company providing broadband, voice and wireless services to consumers and businesses across the country; advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLink® Prism® TV and DIRECTV brands; and data, voice and managed services to business, government and wholesale customers in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers.

These transactions also resulted in 2011 pro-forma combined revenues of more than $18 billion, a robust national 210,000-route-mile fiber network, a significantly larger enterprise customer base and nearly 50,000 employees committed to providing quality service to our customers.

On April 1, CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Qwest Communications in a tax free, stock-for-stock transaction, creating the third largest telecommunications provider – based on access lines – in the United States.


CenturyLink acquired AppFog, Inc. and Tier 3, Inc. to enhance its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings. AppFog provided a reliable, scalable and fast platform for developing apps in the cloud, and Tier 3 provided a public, multi-tenant cloud platform and a related development roadmap. With the Tier 3 acquisition, CenturyLink opened its Cloud Development Center in Seattle.


In December, CenturyLink acquired DataGardens to strengthen its disaster recovery options.

Later that month CenturyLink acquired Cognilytics, an innovative Big Data company. The combination of CenturyLink’s colocation, cloud and managed services and Cognilytics’ “Data to Decisions” advanced analytics solutions will provide comprehensive, end-to-end Big Data solutions to customers.

These acquisitions propel CenturyLink in its transformation to an integrated provider of advanced IP-enabled network, cloud, hosting and IT services.


In April, CenturyLink acquired Orchestrate to enhance its Cloud platform with new Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) capabilities.


In March, CenturyLink acquired netAura LLC, a security services firm that specializes in engineering, developing and consulting on managed security technologies. The acquisition strengthens and enhances CenturyLink’s managed security services available to business and government customers.

In June, CenturyLink acquired ElasticBox, a multi-cloud application management service startup with offices in San Francisco and Madrid. This acquisition strengthens and enhances CenturyLink's development and deployment of multi-cloud services management capabilities as well as its ability to deliver end-to-end network and hybrid IT services to business customers, globally.

In June, CenturyLink acquired certain assets from the company formerly known as Active Broadband Networks. These assets accelerate CenturyLink’s network automation, add opportunity to move functions into the cloud and enhance software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) services for its customers.

In October, CenturyLink announced an agreement to acquire Level 3 Communications in a cash and stock transaction. This transaction positions CenturyLink as the second largest domestic communications provider serving global enterprise customers and will further enable the company to connect its customers to the power of the digital world. Along with millions of consumer customers, the combined company will also have fiber optic networks connecting tens of thousands of business clients and carry internet and corporate data across the U.S., Europe and South America, allowing enterprise customers more bandwidth, better products and greater capabilities to run their business.

In November, CenturyLink entered into an agreement to sell its data centers and related colocation business to BC Partners. BC Partners is a private equity firm with strong operational experience, including ownership in large communications companies such as Intelsat and Suddenlink. Medina Capital is a co-investor with BC Partners and has extensive data center operations experience, having run Terremark, a large data center operator that was purchased by Verizon in 2010.

CenturyLink will continue to be the one-stop solution for the hybrid IT needs for its customers and remains committed to a wide range of IT services, including managed hosting, cloud and network, as well as colocation, through a strategic relationship with BC Partners. Additionally, CenturyLink will retain a minority stake in BC Partners.


In January, CenturyLink announced the acquisition of SEAL Consulting, Inc., a leading SAP® solutions provider for enterprise-wide business and technology needs. This acquisition illustrates CenturyLink’s commitment to expanding its IT and managed services business; further enhancing its application transformation capabilities and expanding its commitment to the SAP ecosystem and to providing integrated application/infrastructure solutions.
In May, CenturyLink completed the sale of its data centers and colocation business to BC Partners. CenturyLink continues to be the one-stop solution for the hybrid IT needs of its customers and remains committed to a wide range of IT services, including managed hosting, cloud and network, as well as colocation. The managed hosting and cloud infrastructure, operating under the name Cyxtera Technologies, will continue to be located in the same high-performance data centers, under the same 100 percent uptime service level agreements. CenturyLink has retained a minority stake in Cyxtera.

In November CenturyLink completed its acquisition of Level 3 Communications, Inc. The combination of CenturyLink and Level 3 created a leading global network services company capable of providing customers a wide range of high-quality technology solutions over a secure and reliable fiber-rich network. Upon close of this transaction, the company’s network connects more than 350 metropolitan areas with more than 100,000 fiber-enabled, on-net buildings, including 10,000 buildings in EMEA and Latin America.


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