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Bell Companies that are part of CenturyLink:
*Note: CenturyLink is comprised of
one of the original "Baby Bells" that were spun-off from AT&T in 1984; US
West, which was acquired by Qwest Communications in 2000.
US West is the original 1984 AT&T divestiture name and
logo given as the holding company for the following Bells:
Previous US West logo used in the
1990's with Bell logo and added tagline "life's better here".
US West logo with Bell logo
removed. (late 1990's)
US West Cellular logo used throughout the
Qwest logo used up until 2002 with tagline
"ride the light".
Qwest logo used from 2002 to 2011
with tagline "Spirit of Service".
CenturyLink Products & Services:
Wireless, TV, Bundles, Internet and Voice
Communications for large enterprise and government
Wireless, TV, Bundles, Internet and Voice
Fiber optic delivered TV or DirectTV (satellite)
CenturyLink Web Hosting
Get the managed hosting solution you need for your
specific environment, including colocation plus storage and backup service. As a
CenturyLink Hosting Services customer, you automatically get pre-install design
services and post-install customer support that meets your network and data
needs. Rest easy knowing your network is fully monitored via a redundant
solution and single point-of-contact escalation.
The City and Suburban Telegraph Company, later Cincinnati Bell Telephone, was
officially incorporated on July 5, 1873, becoming the first company in the city
to provide direct communication between the city's homes and businesses.
Manufacturer and philanthropist Andrew Erkenbrecher became the company's first
president in 1874. Rates were fixed at $300 a year for one line not more than a
mile in length.
By mid-1877, when the telephone was first demonstrated in Cincinnati, the
Association was maintaining about 50 private telegraph lines between offices and
plants or residences. Customers were equipped with a simple telegraph instrument
and a code book, and young men who pedaled foot treadles served as operators and
powered the call bells.
In September 1878, the City and Suburban Association signed a contract with the
Bell Telephone Company of Boston (the nation's first telephone service and
manufacturing company) for a license to furnish Bell telephone service in the
Queen City area. The Association then became the exclusive agent for Bell
telephones within a 25-mile radius of Cincinnati.
Located at the corner of Fourth and Walnut streets downtown, Bell Telephonic
Exchange was the first telephonic exchange in Ohio and the 10th in the nation.
In 1879, the first telephone directory was published and the first line extended
across the Suspension Bridge to Covington, Ky. Women, or "hello girls" who had
to memorize all callers` names, took the place of men as operators, and 25
employees served more than 1,000 customers. A total of 145,392 calls had been
recorded for the year.
Other milestones in
1930: William Clarke and Marie Williams purchased the Oak Ridge Telephone
Company for $500 from F.E. Hogan, Sr. There were 75 paid subscribers. The
switchboard was relocated to the Williams’ front parlor so the family could man
the board 24-hours a day. The exception was between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sundays,
when the office closed for church and dinner. Marie wrote out the bills by hand,
and eight-year-old son Clarke McRae Williams delivered them on his bicycle.
1946: Clarke McRae Williams married Mary Kathryn Lee on his return from service
in World War II. His parents gave the company to the couple as a wedding gift.
1968: The company was incorporated as Central Telephone and Electronics, with
Clarke M. Williams as President and Chairman of the Board. He had expanded the
business into three states serving 10,000 access lines.
1971: The company was renamed Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc.
1972: Century bought the La Crosse (Wisconsin) Telephone Corporation, making a
name for itself overnight within the industry.
1978: Shares of Century common stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange for
the first time October 24, under the symbol CTL.
Century began to replace electromechanical switches with digital computer
1983: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorized cellular mobile
telephone service. Century obtained FCC approval to operate cellular systems in
three areas in Michigan.
Clarke M. Williams, Jr., was named President of Century.
1989: Century paid $90 million in cash for the outstanding capital stock of
Universal Telephone, Inc.
Clarke M. Williams, Jr., was named Chief Executive Officer of Century.
1990: Clarke M. Williams, Jr., resigned from Century after suffering a stroke.
(He died in 1994, following a lengthy illness.)
1992: Century paid $135 million for Central Telephone Company of Ohio, a Centel
subsidiary serving more than 65,000 access lines. This acquisition increased
Century's access line total by 20 percent.
Glen F. Post, III, was named Vice Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive
Officer of Century.
1996: The company surpassed the half million-customer mark in its local exchange
operations, and the 100,000-customer mark in its long distance operations.
1952: the conversion to dial service was
completed in 1952. Cincinnati was the first of the Bell companies to become 100
1968: electronic switching and musical beeps
took over. Prosaic numbers already had replaced the traditional names of the
various exchanges. Dropping Canal, Avon, East, Central, Walnut, Beechmont,
Redwood, Main, Grandview and the rest was one of the telephone company's major
public relations headaches, but expanding usage and services dictated beeps and
1997: Century acquired Delta Security Alarm Co., Inc., of Monroe, Louisiana,
providing full-service security systems to a customer base of nearly 4,000
residential, commercial and industrial customers in north central Louisiana,
southern Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi.
Century completed its largest acquisition to date with the $2.2 billion purchase
of Pacific Telecom, Inc. (PTI), gaining about 660,000 telephone access lines in
12 states and doubling its size.
1998: Century announced a three-for-two stock split affected as a 50 percent
The company acquired Louisiana-based Century Protection Systems, providing
full-service security systems to residential, commercial and industrial
customers in northeastern Louisiana.
Century added about 89,000 access lines with the $221 million purchase of
Ameritech's telephone and directory publishing operations in 19 exchanges in 21
northern and central Wisconsin communities.
1999: Century announced a three-for-two stock split affected as a 50 percent
The company was admitted to the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index.
Shareholders voted to change the company's name to CenturyTel, Inc.
2000: Arkansas became CenturyTel's second largest state in terms of access lines
served with the purchase of 230,500 GTE lines in that state. CenturyTel also
bought 127,000 GTE lines in Missouri.
CenturyTel became the second largest provider in Wisconsin with the purchase of
about 133,000 additional lines in 77 exchanges. In two separate transactions
with Verizon, CenturyTel spent about $195 million for an outright purchase of
70,000 access lines in 42 exchanges. The company also partnered with Telephone
USA of Wisconsin, LLC to buy 62,650 lines in 35 additional exchanges for about
2001: CenturyTel acquired CSW Net, Inc. of Russellville, Arkansas.
The company successfully defeated a hostile take-over attempt by ALLTEL, Inc.
2002: Founder and Chairman of the Board Clarke M. Williams died following a
lengthy illness. CenturyTel's Board of Directors elected Glen F. Post, III as
his successor and new Chairman.
The company expanded operations to 22 states with the acquisition of about
300,000 Verizon access lines in Alabama.
CenturyTel sold its wireless business to ALLTEL, entering a new era as a leading
U.S. pure-play rural local exchange carrier.
The company bought about 354,000 Verizon access lines in Missouri, bringing the
total access lines served nationwide to nearly 2.5 million.
The November 25 issue of Business Week ranked CenturyTel 16th among the 100 top
information technology companies and ahead of all other U.S.-based
telecommunication companies. Rankings were based on revenues, sales growth,
profitability and stock appreciation.
2003: the "Telephone Building" at Seventh and Elm is added to the National
Register of Historic Places.
2004: In February, CenturyTel initiated a stock repurchase program allowing it
to repurchase up to an aggregate of $400 million of either its common stock or
convertible equity units.
In December, CenturyTel announced completion of its $400 million stock
repurchase program, returning more than $430 million through share repurchases
and cash dividends.
2005: The company invested $438 million to repurchase 12.9 million shares of
common stock under an Accelerated Share Repurchase program, which mitigated the
dilutive effect of equity units settled in May, 2005.
In June, CenturyTel completed its acquisition of fiber networks in 16 markets --
primarily in the central United States -- from KMC Telecom Holdings, Inc. (KMC).
With this purchase, CenturyTel added key markets to its footprint across Alabama
(Huntsville and Montgomery), Indiana (Fort Wayne), Kansas (Topeka), Louisiana
(Baton Rouge), Michigan (Lansing and Ann Arbor), Minnesota (Eden Prairie),
Mississippi (Biloxi/Gulfport), Ohio (Akron, Dayton and Toledo), Tennessee
(Chattanooga), Texas (Corpus Christi and Longview) and Wisconsin (Madison).
2006: In July, CenturyTel completed the Accelerated Share Repurchase program
announced in 2005.
In May, CenturyTel sold all of its assets in Arizona to Hopi Telecommunications,
Inc. (HTI), exiting the state as a service provider. At the time of the sale,
CenturyTel served three exchanges with approximately 2,000 customers.
2007: CenturyTel expanded operations in Alabama and Illinois and into Georgia
and North Carolina with the acquisition of approximately 165,000 access lines
and a 2,400-mile-long fiber network from Madison River Communications.
2008: In October, CenturyTel agreed to acquire Embarq Corporation for
approximately $5.8 billion in stock based on the October 24, 2008, closing price
of CenturyTel's common stock and the assumption of approximately $5.8 billion of
debt. Embarq traces its roots back to 1899, when Cleyson Brown formed the Brown
Telephone Company in Abilene, Kansas. By 1991, the company was known as Sprint.
In December, 2004, Sprint announced a merger with wireless provider Nextel and
its subsequent plan to spin off its Local Telecommunications Division (LTD) into
an independent company. The spin-off, Embarq Corporation, was formed on May 17,
2006, with its first day of trading on the NYSE on May 18, 2006. Embarq served
parts of 18 states, including Nevada (Las Vegas), Florida, North Carolina and
CenturyTel announced a new dividend policy increasing its quarterly dividend
from $.0675 to $.70 per share beginning in the third quarter 2008.
2009: On July 1, CenturyTel completed its acquisition of Embarq Corporation in a
tax free, stock-for-stock transaction, creating one of the leading
communications companies in the United States. Simultaneously, the company began
operating under the name CenturyLink, with Admiral William A. Owens as Chairman
of the Board and Glen F. Post III as Chief Executive Officer and President.
The benefits of consolidating these two successful companies included the
creation of an industry-leading communications provider; an expanded suite of
products and solutions for our communities; enhanced employee opportunities over
time from a larger company; greater financial strength and stability; and the
uniting of an experienced, capable leadership team.
This acquisition positioned the combined company as the largest independent
telecommunications provider and fourth largest telecommunications provider –
based on access lines – in the United States.
2010: 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.
2011: 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