CenturyLink edge computing infrastructure can serve 95% of the U.S. with five millisecond latency, said the company’s chief marketing offer Shaun Andrews on a webcast that was part of a virtual financial conference today. That infrastructure is comprised of about 100 telco central offices to which the company is adding edge computing, along with 2200 data centers to which the company has access.
“We’re not bragging enough about the role that we will be playing… on the edge,” Andrews said. “It’s not so much about what we’re building but what we’re leveraging.”
CenturyLink announced plans last year to invest “several hundred million dollars” to support edge computing and although that work is “not entirely complete,” CenturyLink already has signed up enterprise customers for its edge computing services, Andrews said. Applications include storage, applications management, general computing and data services. The latter involve “number crunching” and “making data available,” Andrews explained.
“We’ve been investing in adaptive networking,” he noted. Adaptive networking enables enterprise customers to move applications among data centers and to move capacity as that occurs.
CenturyLink is “well positioned” to meet that need, Andrews said.
“It’s about us leveraging two things that we see ourselves fortuitously sitting on,” he said. “It’s about space, power and bare metal in the right spots.”
CenturyLink Edge Computing
Initial adopters of CenturyLink edge computing are in big box retail, logistics, manufacturing and finance. Applications often involve the movement of IoT devices within a facility. Customers choose to use edge computing as a means of minimizing the investment and management of equipment at individual locations while also avoiding the increased latency associated with traditional cloud computing.
Those customers are “putting their apps on our bare metal,” Andrews said.
“We mostly enable Wi-Fi 6 or private LTE,” Andrews noted. He also noted, though, that “It’s fiber to the location and edge real estate that’s the consistent part of the story.”
In an apparent reference to the wireless connection supported by CenturyLink fiber, he said CenturyLink can partner for the last 50 feet of connectivity.
Andrews declined to provide details about a CenturyLink partnership with AWS involving AWS Outpost but in a broader reference to hyperscale companies, he said “we will enable their efforts in the same vein.”
Andrews made his comments about CenturyLink edge computing at the Cowen Technology, Media & Telecom Conference.