CenturyTel, Inc. (CTL) is a Monroe, Louisiana-based operator of rural telephone services. The firm is one of the leading pure-play rural local exchange carriers (RLECs), with over 2.1 million telephone access lines, primarily in rural areas and small to mid-size cities in 21 states. Based on the number of access lines served, the company is the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the United States. In addition to offering local phone services, the company also provides long-distance, Internet access, fiber optic network services, security monitoring, as well as other communications and business information services. In 2006, CenturyTel generated revenue from the following sources: network access (37%), voice revenues (35%), data (14%), fiber transport and CLEC (6%) and other (8%). All operations of CenturyTel are located in the U.S. Recently available information provides key market segment data, which include: Wisconsin (representing 20% of access lines), Missouri (20%), Alabama (12%), Arkansas (11%), Washington (8%), Michigan (5%), Louisiana (4%), Colorado (4%), Ohio (4%), Oregon (3%) and other (8%).
Historically, the company has grown at a healthy rate in part due to its acquisition initiatives. In July 2002, CenturyTel acquired 650,000 access lines in Alabama and Missouri from Verizon. In the second and fourth quarters of 2003, it acquired Digital Teleport and Midwest Fiber Optic Network, respectively. On April 30, 2007, the company completed the acquisition of Madison River Communications Corp (MRCC). With this acquisition, CenturyTel added approximately 170,000 access lines in new markets and enjoys attractive growth prospects in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois and North Carolina. Madison River's network is nearly 100% broadband-enabled and also includes a 2,400 route-mile fiber network that is complementary to CenturyTel's existing operations.