Dec 16, 2010

Comcast Continues Discussions With Level 3 -- Offers to Trial New Solutions

While we continue to believe the peering dispute that Level 3 initiated with Comcast is best resolved through discussions between engineers and business people, we think it is important to give a status update to the Internet community.

Level 3 and Comcast engineering teams held several in-person discussions over the past 48 hours to discuss potential significant revisions to parts of our peering and direct connect architecture. Together, we constructively developed a potential new and different architectural approach that we proposed to trial with Level 3 as soon as next month. We proposed a mutual and relatively modest investment that would allow us both to better understand the traffic, routing, and economic considerations. We also offered to keep the economics of the existing newly executed agreement at "no cost" until we mutually learned the actual costs of the new approach during this trial.

Additionally, we began some initial discussions about other solutions (including structural and technology approaches) to ensure we were thoughtfully evaluating a full set of potential solutions.

Level 3 chose to leave the meeting when we wouldn't agree to a "zero cost" outcome without the benefit of a trial and the opportunity to understand -- with Level 3 -- the full implications of the new approach, including the impact on our mutual customers. Everyone knows that networks have investments and costs to operate over the longer term; Level 3 effectively demanded unlimited capacity at our cost.

This would be a significant shift of Internet infrastructure and we believe that it is prudent to be thoughtful in any approach given that traffic flows are not well understood without a trial.

We'll continue to actively seek solutions, but both sides have to be willing to come to the table in an open and mutual value consideration. We still are.

Tags : Comcast, Level 3

 
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