CenturyLink/Level 3 Says Its Fiber Assets will attract SMBs

The fiber network resulting from the merger of CenturyLink and Level 3 Communications will allow the combined company to better compete with cable providers in serving small to medium-size businesses, says CenturyLink Chief Financial Officer Stewart Ewing.
“We think there’s a good opportunity there, and we need to act more as an insurgent than as an incumbent telco,” Ewing told investors at the J.P. Morgan 45th Annual Technology, Media and Telecom conference, which was held May 22-24, 2017 in Boston, MA.
CenturyLink said its acquisition of Level 3 will increase its reach by nearly 75% to approximately 75,000, including 10,000 buildings in EMEA and Latin America.
corporate sign outside of an office park

“In the areas where we are the local exchange carrier, there’s a tremendous opportunity to take some market share away from the cable companies, especially small to mid-sized customers where Qwest had lost quite a bit of market share,” Ewing said.

Sunit Patel, CFO of Level 3, said that the new on-net fiber footprint will give the new company an advantage of cable competitors.

“When you look at our on-net fiber building footprint as a combined company it’s quite substantial,” Patel said. “There’s absolutely no reason why we should not be able to compete against the cable companies in those buildings.”

Patel added that CenturyLink has potential to advance its market share with a larger set of services in these buildings with a larger fiber network.

“When you look at the market share penetration in those buildings, it is reasonably low so there are opportunities for market share gains there,” Patel said. “The proximity of our network to a lot of buildings is better as a combined company so if you leverage that we’ll be able to compete quite effectively against cable companies.”