Since its founding, it has grown in size by acquisitions. In 1998, it purchased 89,000 access lines and 19 exchanges in 21 northern Wisconsin communities from Ameritech. The affected customers had formerly been served by Wisconsin Bell. Ameritech's directory publishing operations serving those customers were also acquired. From 2000-2002, CenturyTel acquired Verizon's GTE assets in Missouri and Alabama. As of mid-2006 more than 52% of its customers had the choice of cable broadband and 19% had the choice of cable Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone services.
CenturyTel operates a fiber optic transport system connecting cities in 16 states in the central United States. It also offers long distance services, dial-up Internet access, high-speed DSL Internet connections, and database management, printing, electronic pre-press and fulfillment services.
The 26 states CenturyTel serves are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In 1946, the Williams' son, Clarke McRae Williams, received ownership of the family's telephone company as a wedding gift.
Employees 6,600 (2007)
Century Telephone performed well during the long bear market of the 1970s, as its stock rose over fourfold. The company provided telephone service in parts of 14 states by that time.
In 1982, Century Telephone's earnings peaked at US$14 million, then declined in 1983 following the early 1980s recession, and finally began to recover in 1984. However, the 1983 decline led to a loss of half the value of the company's stock in 1984.
In 1985, both earnings and the stock price had recovered to new record highs. But by then, the company had accumulated US$206 million in long-term debt.
In 1987, the stock price nearly doubled from its low that year, and from its old 1982 record high, before falling back by a third in the 1987 stock market crash. Earnings had steadily grown each year from their 1983 low, and by 1987 reached nearly US$20 million.
In 1989 Century Telephone Enterprises acquired Universal Telephone, Inc. for US$90 million in cash. During the late 1980s the company began a long trend in which it performed extremely well. The stock split three-for-two twice in this period, as earnings steadily grew, through the 1990-1991 recession, and by year-end 1991, they reached nearly US$40 million, double from what they had been in 1987.
In 1992, Century Telephone acquired Central Telephone Company of Ohio, a Centel subsidiary, for paid US$135 million. The acquisition served more than 65,000 access lines, and added 20% to Century's access line total. Also that year Glen F. Post, III became Chief Executive Officer and , named Vice Chairman of the Board of Century Telephone.
In 1993, Century Telephone revenues were over US$425 million, up from about US$350 million in 1992. 1993 earnings were nearly US$80 million, up from about US$70 million in 1992, excluding a nearly US$16 million charge in 1992 due to the cumulative effect from an accounting change that year. Also in 1993 the company split its stock three-for-two yet again. However, by then the company had accumulated nearly US$520 million in long-term debt.
By 1995, Century Telephone Enterprises had been added to the S&P MidCap 400 index. Earnings had continued their steady growth trend through the 1994 economic soft landing, and by 1995 they reached over US$115 million. But the long-term debt continued to grow as well, reaching US$623 million that year.
In 1997 Century Telephone acquired Delta Security Alarm Co., Inc. of Monroe, Louisiana, and its largest acquisition up until that time, Pacific Telcom, Inc., doubling its size with 660,000 additional telephone access lines in 12 states.
In 1998, Century Telephone split its stock three-for-two once again. The company acquired another Monroe, Louisiana security company, Century Protection Systems, and also acquired Ameritech's telephone and directory publishing operations in Wisconsin, adding another 89,000 access lines.
In 2000, CenturyTel acquired 230,500 GTE lines in Arkansas, and also also bought 127,000 GTE lines in Missouri in partnership with Spectra Communications. In Wisconsin, it acquired 133,000 additional lines, and 70,000 access lines for US$195 million from Verizon. That year CenturyTel also bought 62,650 lines for US$170 million in partnership with Telephone USA of Wisconsin, LLC.
In 2002, the son of the company's original founder and Chairman of the Board Clarke M. Williams died. He was succeeded by then Vice Chairman Glen F. Post, III. The company sold its wireless business to ALLTEL, to become a pure-play rural local exchange carrier. Also that year CenturyTel acquired 300,000 Verizon access lines in Alabama, and 354,000 Verizon access lines in Missouri, bringing its total operations to 22 states with 2.5 million access lines.
In 2003, CenturyTel acquired half ownership of SkyComm International, Inc. in Houston, Texas, in March, to form a satellite teleport for its global Network Access Point (NAP) system. In June, CenturyTel also acquired the fiber network of Digital Teleport, Inc., a 5,700 mile route running from Illinois to Texas, and adjoining states. CenturyTel renamed the network company LightCore. Closing out the year, in December CenturyTel acquired the Midwest Fiber Optic Network (MFON) from Level 3 Communications, Inc. in December, a stand-alone system in the same core central states as LightCore.
In 2004, CenturyTel began a stock buyback of US$400 million. In August, it partnered with EchoStar Communications Corporation for DISH Network multi-channel digital TV. In September, CenturyTel began a relationship with Cingular Wireless.
In 2005, CenturyTel began a wireless voice and data service, and bought a number of fiber networks in the central United States, from KMC Telecom Holdings, Inc.
In 2006, CenturyTel sold its entire Arizona assets to Hopi Telecommunications, Inc., bringing total operations to 23 states.
At the Web site, visitors can research and sign up for services. Existing customers can manage their account, view and pay their bills and more. In late 2007, the Customer Respect Group, an international research and consulting firm that focuses on how corporations treat their online customers, ranked CenturyTel the best among 6 leading communications providers
CenturyTel Offer Highlights Wireline Profits.(Alltel Corp.'s interest in CenturyTel Inc.)(Statistical Data Included)
Sep 10, 2001; LITTLE ROCK'S ALLTEL Corp. rode the wireless revolution to become a multibillion dollar company. But before wireless, Alltel...