Jeff Storey: 5 ms to Edge on Level 3 fiber

CEO Storey of CenturyLink can reach 95% of 2,000 sites of a large customer in 5 ms over fiber. That’s much faster than 5G wireless, which averages 30 ms or ~15 ms with an Edge Network. Part of the 5G claimed business case is that the 5G latency is needed for Edge servers. But Century/Level 3, Deutsche Telekom, and most other incumbent carriers can serve most business customers with fiber.

The demand for expensive Edge Networks is unproven. Dean Bubley wonders why haven’t many businesses already connected to them over existing fiber? Mobile Edge Computing gets enormous buzz, but except for the Chinese, no carrier has made a large commitment. KT & DT have a handful of regional servers and Verizon has promised some sites by the end of 2019.

I won’t have an opinion until I see results from the field and actual customer signups. Here’s Storey from the financial call:

We operate a large number of edge locations that are well suited to enable edge computing. In the coming weeks, we expect to announce the details of our investments in our widely distributed and extremely well-connected edge computing infrastructure.

Let me give you a specific example from a customer of what fiber-based edge computing capabilities can mean for them. Slide 6 shows an actual customer with close to 2,000 nationwide locations. We are working with this customer to evaluate the effectiveness of our edge computing solutions to more efficiently run applications and process huge amounts of data very close to the origin of that data. On this slide, you can see that our existing infrastructure is positioned within five milliseconds transport time for 95% of their sites. This means that the customer’s applications and data can be processed more efficiently from a 100 or so of our edge locations, rather than processed on-premise at 2,000 separate sites, even worse with the customer or backhaul to a central location.

In addition, our dynamic networking capabilities can provide real-time network provisioning from the customer premise to our edge, and then onto major cloud service providers. This example is for a specific customer, but the results are indicative of what we see from other customers we are currently working with.

Improvements welcome