CenturyLink sends content over dedicated network
New video eyed
By Andy Vuong
December 10, 2010
The new Qwest will have a video strategy that goes beyond reselling satellite-TV service.
In recent years, CenturyLink, the rural phone company that's in the midst of acquiring Denver-based Qwest, has launched IPTV in a handful of markets. The service delivers movies and shows over a dedicated fiber-optic network, unlike online video offerings such as Netflix that stream over the open Internet.
"Video is an extremely important piece of our portfolio," said Kenny Wyatt, a regional president for Louisiana-based CenturyLink, which announced plans in April to acquire Qwest for $22 billion in stock and assumed debt.
Wyatt will become
president of the combined company's Denver-based mountain
region, which will cover
CenturyLink's video service, called Prism, offers live broadcasts and shows and includes features that allow users to integrate voice mail and watch recorded content on any TV set, regardless of where it was saved to a DVR.
"It's an extremely cutting-edge product that will be a key differentiator," said Wyatt, 42.
Qwest officials are
pursuing changes to
merger has won approval from the Federal Trade Commission, the
Department of Justice, 12 states and
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission is expected to issue its decision during a 1 p.m. hearing today.
Qwest and CenturyLink
have reached agreements with consumer advocates in
But the companies did not settle with the Colorado Office of Consumer Counsel. The office, concerned that service could deteriorate, has asked regulators to raise service-quality benchmarks and potential fines as a condition of approving the merger.
"You need more than just promises. You need some teeth," said Bill Levis, director of the consumer office. "The problem with what everybody is agreeing to is basically they're saying, 'OK, we agree that Qwest and CenturyLink will do their best to do this, and if there is a problem, we're going to have to file a complaint against them.' "
The combined company's 37-state territory will be divided into six regions.
"Today, I have full profit/loss responsibility for the south-central region in CenturyLink," he said. "I'll take that exact same operating model and will move it to the mountain region."
The operating model includes setting product packages and prices based on demographics from city to city.
Kenny Wyatt file
What he's doing:
President of CenturyLink's south-central region, based in
What he'll do:
President of the Denver-based mountain region, which will cover
Experience: Executive positions in marketing, product development, sales, strategic planning and others for Sprint and its former local-phone operation, Embarq, now a part of CenturyLink; prior to joining Sprint, Wyatt served as a commercial- and investment-banking officer at Bank of America.
Family: Wife, Jennifer; three daughters, ages 10, 7 and 3
Interests: Skiing, fly-fishing