CenturyLink to Retire Copper in 8 States

CenturyLink has notified the Federal Communications Commission that it is replacing its existing copper last-mile access in cities in eight states.

Growth in the distribution area in various cities in Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin requires that CenturyLink “cut facilities to (the) fiber-fed digital loop carrier system (DLC),” it said in the filing. “After the cut to DLC, copper-reliant services, such as non-loaded copper loops will not be supported.”

All other types of unbundled loops will still be available.

The move is an effort to “respond to various factors in the outside plant, including road construction, maintenance problems and growth accommodation,” and the replacement could be either more copper or fiber, it said in the filing. In at least two markets, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Vancouver, Wash., lucky residents will benefit from a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) upgrade, which will offer 1Gbps in bandwidth.

“Growth in the area requires CenturyLink to install fiber-based access to its customer,” Century said in the filing. “The copper loops will be replaced by fiber loops as customers migrate to higher speed broadband Internet access (BIA). Unbundled copper loops may not be available to an individual address after the planned completion/retirement date,” which is the end of the year.

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