CenturyLink, is the company that brings you the Internet Basics internet access program designed to be affordable for low-income Americans. That’s high speed DSL for under $10 a month. For more information on this program to go our Internet Basics page. Contact information for CenturyLink and Internet Basics is found at the end of this page.
Centurylink is an international telecommunications company headquartered in Louisiana. When it was founded back in 1968 it was known as Central Telephone & Electronics Corporation. It officially changed its corporate name to CenturyLink, Inc in 2009.
We love throwing around technical terms as if we understand them, so please allow us to say that CenturyLink operates as a local exchange carrier and internet service provider in major portions of the Unites States. In fact, recent statistics indicate that it’s the third-largest telecommunications company in the United States in terms of customers served.
In early 2010, CenturyLink announced its intention to acquire Qwest, another telephone company, in what’s known as a stock-for-stock transaction.
It would take someone a lot smarter than us to fully understand the details of this complex agreement, but please allow us to summarize to the best of our ability:
CenturyLink agreed to exchange 0.1664 of its shares for each share of Qwest. In return, CenturyLink shareholders ended up owning 50.5% of the new combined company. Qwest shareholders own the remaining minority share of the company. The total purchase price? An astounding $22.4 billion. On top of that, CenturyLink had to take on $11.8 billion of Qwest’s debt. Most of us have trouble balancing our checkbooks and these guys are assuming levels of debt that could make Warren Buffet’s head spin.
The addition of Qwest turned CenturyLink into the third largest telecommunications company in the United States. The company now has 17 million access lines, 5 million broadband customers, and 1.4 million video subscribers in 37 states. These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, New Mexico, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Internet Basic Program:
This acquisition also led directly to CenturyLink’s participation in the inexpensive broadband market. The Federal Communications Commission wouldn’t approve the combination of the two companies until they agreed to offer low-priced high-speed broadband service to America’s needy. CenturyLink’s solution was its new Internet Basics program.