2016 Letter to Shareholders

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To Our Shareholders We enter 2017 with confidence in a bright future ahead for CenturyLink. We are clear in our approach to the market: we lead with network products and services and enable a targeted set of related services focused on cybersecurity and other technology solutions such as data analytics and managed services. We are encouraged by the interest enterprise customers are showing in our recently launched network, cloud, data analytics and security offerings. And consumer customers are responding positively to our higher broadband speeds and simplified product offers. Our network is our principal asset, key differentiator and source of attractive growth opportunities. We operate a 265,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 360,000- route-mile international transport network connecting millions of businesses and consumers around the world. This robust network positions us well to capitalize on the remarkable increase in data traffic driven by video streaming, new applications and services related to the Internet of Things (IoT), virtual and augmented reality and 5G wireless technology. As the digital world continues to expand, the potential of our network to deliver value and opportunity to our stakeholders expands as well. However, our success requires more than simply enabling a powerful network. To meet our rapidly evolving competitive environment, we are also focused on significantly improving our customer experience and driving higher levels of efficiency through automation, simplification, organizational change and operational improvement. Taken together, our network-first approach, supplemented with targeted, value-added services, a differentiated customer experience and increasing levels of efficiency will drive us toward our goal of being the world's best, most reliable network services provider. LEVEL 3 ACQUISITION: POSITIONING OURSELVES AS A GLOBAL ENTERPRISE COMMUNICATIONS PROVIDER In October 2016 we announced the pending acquisition of Level 3, which we believe is a transformational transaction for our company. Level 3 is expected to add approximately 200,000 route miles of fiber to our network, making us the second largest domestic communications provider serving global enterprise customers in terms of enterprise revenues. CenturyLink will be a business of impressive scale, reach and capabilities, with improved opportunities for revenue growth. We are working diligently to secure the necessary regulatory approvals to close the transaction by the end of third quarter 2017. With Level 3, we also expect to gain 64,000 route miles of fiber in 350 metropolitan areas and 33,000 subsea route miles of fiber connecting multiple continents. On- net buildings are expected to increase by 75 percent, to approximately 75,000 buildings, improving the cost- effectiveness of acquiring new customers and increasing business with our existing customers, particularly in Latin America and Europe. More than 75 percent of the combined company's core revenue is expected to come from business customers, and 65 percent of core revenue will be from strategic services. The two companies' complementary service portfolios create significant new revenue potential across the combined customer base. For example, Level 3 offers best-in-class VoIP access and SIP trunking services, according to Frost & Sullivan, while CenturyLink offers leading software-defined wide area network service (SD-WAN) and hybrid IT offerings that will provide growth opportunities for both of our customer bases. 2016 SUMMARY ANNUAL REPORT AND 2017 ANNUAL MEETING DOCUMENTS 1

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