Telecommunications company CenturyLink is upgrading its network with the acquisition of Internet backbone provider Level 3 Communications in a deal valued at $34 billion.

In the cash and stock transaction, Level 3 shareholders will get $26.50 and 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each share of Level 3 stock. At $66.50 per Level 3 share, that represents a premium of about 42% over Level 3 closing share price of $46.92 on Oct. 26. Included debt brings the deal to $34 billion, the companies said.