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CenturyLink Concerned FCC’s Connect America Fund Changes Hurt Rural Americans

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today proposed significant changes to the Connect America Fund Phase II program being developed under the Universal Service Fund Transformation Order.

“CenturyLink has been providing communications services to rural America for more than 80 years, often in places that are very hard to serve. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities that come with serving high-cost rural areas and want to make sure rural Americans get the broadband service they need and deserve,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis.

“The Connect America Fund program is perhaps the best hope for hundreds of thousands of Americans with no high-speed Internet service today. We agree that faster Internet speeds are where much of the focus must be in terms of meeting the rapidly evolving needs of our customers. Online opportunities are changing the way Americans look at education, commerce and entertainment. We fervently believe that rural Americans have a right to join in this evolution.”

“Accordingly, we believe that the Connect America Fund must first connect America by ensuring that all consumers have access to broadband service. Higher speeds will require commensurate changes in other parts of the program. We are concerned that reverse auctions, extended challenge processes, and funding unlicensed and untested technologies will not help rural Americans get the benefits and opportunities that come with high-speed Internet,” Davis said.

 

CenturyLink Commends FCC For Order Updating Retransmission Consent Rules

The Federal Communications Commission today adopted an order making certain rule revisions and clarifications to facilitate fair and effective retransmission consent negotiations.

“CenturyLink commends the FCC for taking action to strengthen its rules regarding joint retransmission negotiations by broadcasters that compete with each other in local markets,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis. “The present system causes programming costs to skyrocket and hinders competition, marketplace diversity and consumer choice. We won’t have the fully competitive pay-TV marketplace consumers deserve until we have fair and balanced retransmission negotiations. This is a good first step toward achieving that goal.”

Over the past five years, CenturyLink has begun offering its Prism™ TV service to approximately 2 million homes and has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in deploying high-speed broadband services to support its digital video product.

CenturyLink Wins Defense Information Systems Agency Contract

Company to provide high altitude electromagnetic pulse-protected fiber optic network

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) recently won a contract from the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) that could be worth a total of $1.7 million over the next five years.

The company will provide a fiber optic system that is buried in steel pipe encased in concrete conduit to protect it from the effects of high altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMP), ensuring continuity of service and survivability. The system operates continuously among Schriever Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, thus delivering uninterrupted fiber connectivity among the three air bases in the Colorado Springs, Colo., area.

This contract, which includes telecommunications services, network systems, equipment and maintenance, follows a previous procurement for these services that was also awarded to CenturyLink.

CenturyLink’s HEMP-protected fiber optic system supports the Colorado Springs Survivable Communications Network, a private synchronous optical network that is capable of sustained operations in the presence of nuclear threats so that critical voice, message, video and data communications can continue to reach command authorities quickly and reliably.

“CenturyLink is proud to provide its patented high altitude electromagnetic pulse-protected communications system to the Department of Defense and to again be awarded this contract to ensure network continuity and survivability,” said Diana Gowen, CenturyLink Government senior vice president and general manager.

CenturyLink is ranked No. 48 on Washington Technology’s 2013 Top 100 list of federal government IT contractors.

CenturyLink Wins Marine Corps Base Quantico Contract

Company to provide voice and data network services worth up to $8.5 million  

CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) recently won a contract to provide voice, data network and telecommunications infrastructure services to the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., and the Marine Corps Barracks in Washington, D.C., that could be worth up to $8.5 million over the next two years.

CenturyLink will provide a team of professional information technology specialists who will work directly with more than 20,000 enlisted, officer and civilian Marine Corps personnel at Quantico and the Washington, D.C., barracks to provide voice and data communications services that support the Marine Corps’ mission 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The CenturyLink team is responsible for daily operations and technical support, equipment and infrastructure upgrades, troubleshooting and repair calls, and the design, installation and planning for the Marine Corps telecommunications system in Quantico and in Washington, D.C.

CenturyLink’s network services will support key Marine Corps tenants that include the Navy Criminal Investigations Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which provides helicopter support to the president of the United   States.

This contract follows two previous procurements for these services that were also awarded to CenturyLink, marking more than 12 years of successful company support of and collaboration with the Marines at Quantico.

“CenturyLink is pleased to win this contract to provide voice and data communications services to Marine Corps Base Quantico for the third time,” said Diana Gowen, CenturyLink Government senior vice president and general manager. “We’re proud to continue to deliver first-class voice and data connectivity in support of the Marine Corps’ training and combat development missions.”

CenturyLink is ranked No. 48 on Washington Technology’s 2013 Top 100 list of federal government IT contractors.

 

CenturyLink Commends NIST Framework As Foundation For Enhancing America’s Cybersecurity Posture

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today issued its national cybersecurity framework as outlined in the White House cybersecurity executive order.

“CenturyLink commends NIST on the release of its national cybersecurity framework. This framework provides a common language and is the necessary first step in improving communications among government and industry stakeholders,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis. “We applaud NIST for partnering with the private sector during this year-long endeavor and believe the framework will serve as a solid foundation for continued collaboration that will enhance our nation’s overall cybersecurity posture.”

 

CenturyLink Urges Congress To Extend Bonus Depreciation, Support Broadband Infrastructure Investments

CenturyLink is one of many U.S companies across a wide array of industries that are urging Congress to extend the bonus depreciation provision of The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which expired December 31, 2013.

Bonus depreciation provides tax incentives to companies that continue to invest, or expand their investments, in a slow economy. Such investments include infrastructure improvements that create new jobs and lead to increased productivity.

Extending the bonus depreciation provision will provide companies with the certainty they need to make investments that will improve our global competitiveness and help drive our economy forward.

Two industry groups recently sent letters to the leaders of both houses of Congress that push for the renewal of the bonus depreciation provision and highlight how broadband investments can help fuel our economic recovery. You can read the letters from USTelecom and from Broadband for America here and here.

As a nation, we need to continue to grow our economy. CenturyLink urges Congress to extend the bonus depreciation provision and support capital investments in our nation’s broadband infrastructure. We believe such investments will help lift our economy, deliver the benefits of broadband to more communities and bring more Americans online.

 

CenturyLink Supports ConnectED Initiative

The Federal Communications Commission today outlined its plan to invest $2 billion over the next two years to dramatically expand high-speed Internet connectivity for America’s schools and libraries.

“We commend Chairman [Tom] Wheeler and the administration for their commitment to making the E-rate program more effective and efficient,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis. “CenturyLink has long been a strong supporter of bringing high-speed Internet access to schools and libraries. We look forward to working with the FCC on the ConnectED initiative and on how we can best continue delivering broadband to thousands of schools and libraries in our territory.”

 

CenturyLink Submits Comments To Congress Urging Communications Act Update

Late last year, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee took a significant and much-needed first step forward in modernizing our nation’s telecommunications laws. CenturyLink commends Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton and Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden for launching an important initiative that will better reflect the changing marketplace and encourage the development of new, faster services at lower costs for consumers.

The various titles and major amendments to those titles in the Communications Act were adopted to address specific technologies and market conditions that existed at the time. While they were coherent and reasonable frameworks for those technologies and market conditions in 1996, they no longer make sense or serve the public interest because of the vast changes in technologies and market conditions.

Most of the Communications Act’s market-opening and consumer-protection provisions have now become impediments to competition and innovation. If the Communications Act is not substantially reformed and harmonized, the legislative framework can only harm the public interest and hold our nation back as we compete in the global marketplace. We must also realize, consumer demands and technology are evolving so rapidly, Congress should move quickly to make sure laws keep pace with on-going changes.

CenturyLink believes Congress should forge a new Communications Act founded on three basic principles:

  1. Competitive and Technological Parity. Similar services, meaning those that are used interchangeably, should be subject to the same regulation, regardless of technology and provider. In particular, Congress should modernize incumbent provider-specific regulation, which threatens to slow the ongoing IP transition and dampen further competition and innovation for customers.
  2. Narrowly-Defined Public Interest Principles. While Congress may not be able to “future-proof” new communications legislation, it can dramatically increase its staying power by grounding it in fundamental narrowly-defined public interest principles, rather than detailed prescriptive regulation.
  3. Meaningful Periodic Review. All the Communications Act’s provisions should be subject to automatic sunset provisions, by which statutory obligations would cease to be in force after a certain date unless affirmatively retained and justified by the FCC.

 

CenturyLink believes that communications legislation rooted in these principles will successfully guide the industry, enabling it to provide yet unforeseen communications technologies and services to the benefit of all Americans.

You can read the full text of the comments CenturyLink submitted to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee here.

CenturyLink Supports IP Trials

The Federal Communications Commission today adopted a notice of inquiry and a notice of proposed rulemaking on advanced technology trials.

“CenturyLink supports the FCC’s invitation to providers to propose advanced technology trials. We look forward to participating in the process and hope the trials will encourage investment in next-generation IP networks and services,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis. “We expect these trials will demonstrate that consumer and public safety needs will be met, that many current regulations are unnecessary and that the remaining regulations should be applied equally to all providers.”

CenturyLink Supports Vibrant, Open Internet

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today announced its decision to overturn parts of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules.

“CenturyLink’s network is built on the idea that customers should be able to access the Internet whenever, wherever and however they choose. Because we strongly support a vibrant and open Internet, we urge the FCC to limit government regulations that impede investment, innovation and consumer choice,” said CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE: CTL) Executive Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations Steve Davis.