Century Tel, Inc, which was formerly called Century Telephone Enterprises, Inc, is a telecommunications company within the United States. It is a member of the S & P 500 and is headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. The company's main industry is a local exchange carrier and it also provides Internet service in mostly rural markets throughout the United States, but mainly in 25 states. In terms of size, the company is large, and currently is the 8th largest company in local exchange providers within the country. In addition to providing these services, Century Tel also provides long distance service.
Century Tel was founded in 1930. From that time on, the company has grown by acquiring smaller companies. The company was founded by F. E. Hogan Sr., as the Oak Ridge Telephone Company, with only 75 paying subscribers. The company was sold to William Clarke for just $500. The company remained a family owned company until 1968. In 1998, Century Tel purchased 89,000 access lines and 19 exchanges in Wisconsin. The purchase was made from Ameritech. In 2000 and for the next two years, the company would acquire Verizon's company, GTE assets in the states of Alabama and Missouri. The company operates using a fiber optic transport system. This is used to connect 16 states most of which are located in the central portion of the country. The company's main products including long distance service, high speed dedicated Internet through DSL connectivity, dial up Internet access, database management services, as well as printing, electronic pre press and fulfillment services.
Century Tel operates as a leading provider of these services mostly in smaller to medium sized cities. They do this through both broadband and fiber transport networks. The company currently has more than two million access lines throughout the 25 states it is in. It offers a high speed Internet connection to 586,000 customers. It has a network that is 100 percent digital, Centrex. It is an Integrated Services Digital Network provider and Advanced Intelligent Network.
In terms of the future, Century Tel plans to expand its current lines within the states it is already in. In 2007, The company expanded its presence in Alabama as well as Illinois. It also moved into Georgia and North Carolina at this time. To do this, it acquired the company Madison River Communications, which had some 170,000 access lines and a 2400 mile long fiber network. The company regularly invests in its future, purchasing more advanced technology and delivering a higher quality of service.
In 2007, Century Tel was ranked the best of the top six leading communications providers by the organization Customer Respect Group, which is an international research firm. The Century Tel Company announced that it would acquire EMBARQ. The transaction was for some 11.6 billion dollars and included Century Tel taking on more than 5.8 billion in debt from EMBARQ.
Century Tel has strong management and customer relations. It is currently being lead by Glen F. Poss III, as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive officer. The company has revenue of upwards of 2.6 billion as of 2008. The Century Tel company employees 6900 people, as of 2005 and continues to expand as it acquires additional companies. The company is a top S & P 500 company, known on the New York Stock Exchange as CTL.