Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) today announced a long-term agreement with Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT) to provide inter-city and metro dark fiber as part of Comcast's extension of its fiber footprint. This backbone ensures that Comcast has a technically advanced and fully upgradeable nationwide broadband network -- today and in the future -- over which it can deliver new and enhanced services to its customers.
This backbone is principally based on 20-year dark-fiber IRU's (indefeasible rights of use) from Level 3 and other sources. The agreements currently total over 19,000 route miles, and cover 95 percent of Comcast's national footprint. The initial cost of the network, including fiber capacity and routing and optical equipment, is expected to involve approximately $100 million of capital.
"This agreement with Level 3 will further enhance our ability to deliver new and innovative services such as video-on-demand, high definition television, digital video recorders, high-speed Internet access and advanced voice services," said Comcast Cable Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer David Fellows. "We expect to benefit from the inherent cost efficiencies and high reliability that the Level 3 network delivers."
The backbone will be able to carry multiple wavelengths, each capable of 40 Gigabits per second, for a total potential capacity of almost 3 Terabits per second. It will initially be provisioned with multiple 10 Gbps wavelengths, each capable of carrying almost three thousand video channels.
In addition to the fiber, Level 3 will provide a wide range of maintenance services to the backbone, which will be managed out of Comcast's existing east and west National Operations Centers.
"We're extremely pleased that Comcast has chosen Level 3 as an underlying provider of broadband infrastructure services," said Kevin O'Hara, President and Chief Operating Officer for Level 3. "We believe that Level 3's innovative and reliable services, network management tools and customer support will help Comcast continue to meet the strong demand the cable leader is seeing for new services."
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (http://www.comcast.com) is principally involved in
the development, management and operation of broadband cable networks and in
the provision of programming content. The Company is the largest provider of
cable and broadband services in the United States, serving more than
21 million cable television subscribers and more than 6.5 million high-speed
Internet customers. The Company's content businesses include Comcast
SportsNet, Comcast-Spectacor, E! Entertainment Television, Style Network,
G4techTV, The Golf Channel, International Channel Networks and Outdoor Life
Network. Comcast Class A common stock and Class A Special common stock trade
on The NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbols CMCSA and CMCSK, respectively.
About Level 3 Communications
Level 3 (Nasdaq: LVLT) is an international communications and information
services company. The company operates one of the largest Internet backbones
in the world, is one of the largest providers of wholesale dial-up service to
ISPs in North America and is the primary provider of Internet connectivity for
millions of broadband subscribers, through its cable and DSL partners. The
company offers a wide range of communications services over its 23,000 mile
broadband fiber optic network including Internet Protocol (IP) services,
broadband transport and infrastructure services, colocation services, and
patented Softswitch managed modem and voice services. Its Web address is
The company offers information services through its subsidiaries, Software
Spectrum and (i)Structure. For additional information, visit their respective
Web sites at http://www.softwarespectrum.com and http://www.i-structure.com.
Level 3 services are offered by Level 3 Communications, LLC, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Level 3 Communications, Inc.