The Association of U S West Retirees



Qwest's merger to bring changes


by Megan Neighbor
The Arizona Republic

April 1, 2011


CenturyLink's merger with Denver-based Qwest Communications, scheduled to be completed today, will bring a host of changes to customers in Arizona.

Prices and service plans will remain the same for current customers. But starting late this summer, Qwest, the largest provider of phone services in the state, will remove its name from advertisements and phone bills.

It will be replaced by its new owner's name: CenturyLink, a Monroe, La.-based telecommunications company that until now has had no presence in Arizona.

Phoenix will become one of six regional headquarters for the telecommunications company.

Terry Beeler, former Western region president for CenturyLink, will be president of the company's Southwest headquarters.

CenturyLink has more than 3,100 employees in Arizona, a decrease from the 3,390 Qwest reported in 2010.

The company has more than 1.4 million access lines in Arizona.


Glen F. Post III, CEO of CenturyLink, said the combined company would be able to offer a wider variety of services than the two companies could offer on their own.


The Arizona Corporation Commission signed off on the deal in March with the condition that CenturyLink invest $70 million in broadband infrastructure in the state over the next five years. Approval from the Federal Communications Commission came shortly thereafter on the contingency that CenturyLink provide affordable products and services to low-income residents.


Arizona residents who qualify as low income will be able to buy computers for $150 and get high-speed Internet service initially for $10 per month.


CenturyLink also agreed to provide fast broadband, with speeds of 12 megabits per second or more, and ultrafast broadband, with speeds of 40 megabits per second, to more households and businesses in Qwest's territory.