Level 3 Communications

Not to be confused with L-3 Communications.
Level 3 Communications, Inc.
Traded as NYSE: LVLT
S&P 500 Component
Industry Telecom
Founded 1985
Headquarters Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Key people
Jeff Storey (CEO)
Sunit Patel (CFO)
Anthony Christie (CMO)
Harold Teets (CIO)
Andrew Dugan (CTO)
Products Mobile telephony, Internet services, Content delivery
Revenue IncreaseUS$ 8.3 billion (2015)[1]
IncreaseUS$ 1.3 billion (2015)[1]
IncreaseUS$3.4 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets IncreaseUS$24.1 billion (2015)[2]
Total equity IncreaseUS$10.1 billion (2015)[3]
Number of employees
Website www.level3.com
Primary ASN 3356
Traffic Levels 3 Tbit/s+

Level 3 Communications is an American multinational telecommunications and Internet service provider company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado.[4]

It operates a Tier 1 network.[4] The company provides core transport, IP, voice, video, and content delivery for medium-to-large Internet carriers in North America, Latin America, Europe, and selected cities in Asia.[5] Level 3 is also the largest competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and the 3rd largest provider of fiber-optic internet access (based on coverage) in the United States.

On October 31, 2016, CenturyLink announced an agreement to acquire Level 3 Communications in a cash and stock transaction.[6]


1985 to 2000

In 1985, Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc created a subsidiary named Kiewit Diversified Group to manage the corporation's business that was not related to construction. The division was spun off as a separate entity and changed its name to Level 3 Communications in 1998 to signify an increased focus on communication services. That same year saw it make an IPO on NASDAQ. According to Level3's own history, it continued to build its telecommunications network after going public.[7]

2001 to 2010

According to Level3's own history, in 2003, the company acquired Genuity, and, between 2005 and 2007, it purchased several other companies including former rivals WilTel Communications, Broadwing Corporation, Looking Glass Networks, Progress Telecom, and Telcove (formerly Adelphia Business Solutions).[7] In 2004, Level 3 acquired ICG Communications' wholesale dial-up business for $35 million. Then, in 2006, Level 3 purchased the rest of ICG Communications for $163 million, taking over ICG's fiber network and nationwide Points of Presence (PoPs). It then integrated these companies through 2010.

2010 to present

On April 11, 2011, Level 3 announced a tender offer had been made to acquire fellow Tier 1 provider Global Crossing[8] in an all-stock transaction,[9] which was approved by shareholders On August 5.[10] and completed on October 4, 2011. On October 20, 2011, Level 3 Communications reduced its total shares and transferred its stock listing from NASDAQ to the larger New York Stock Exchange.[11]

On May 14, 2012, Level 3 was contracted by European content provider Voxility to provide 250 Gbit/s or more to Voxility's three main data centers in North America and Europe.[12] On May 7, 2012, Level 3 was contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Information Systems Agency to provide fiber-cable operations and maintenance, and IP-based infrastructure under a ten-year, indefinite contract with a maximum value of approximately $411 million.[13]

On June 16, 2014, Level 3 acquired TW Telecom, a business Internet connection provider, for about $5.7 billion.[14]

In July 2015, Level 3 acquired Black Lotus, a provider of protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS).[15]

On October 31, 2016, CenturyLink announced its intent to acquire Level 3 in a deal valued at around $25 billion.[16]



Level 3 Communications satellite dish on one of its two ground stations located in Boise, Idaho

Level 3 Communications operates a large network Internet. This includes 46 states in the continental United States,[17][18] South America, Western Europe,[4][19] and some cities in Asia. It uses transatlantic cables,[20] including "Yellow" /AC-2 (on which it owned two of the four fiber pairs after Viatels 2001 bankruptcy).[21] Level 3 Communications has also purchased 300 Gbit/s of capacity on the Apollo (cable system).[22]

It is the current owner of AS1[23] (following the acquisition of Genuity, from BBN Technologies ), but it uses AS3356 for operations. AS3356 as of 2007 consistently had one of the highest ranked connectivity degrees on the Internet.[24][25] It also operates the former Global Crossing network (AS3549) following the company acquisition in 2011.

Level 3 Communications delivers Netflix and Apple music and video content over the Internet.[26] The company runs a content delivery network which it acquired from Savvis in 2006.[27]

In 2006, Level 3 Communications announced with Internet2, an academic network, that they would deploy a next generation nationwide research network.[28]

Sales organization

Level 3 distributes and sells its services through a mix of six independent sales channels: large enterprise, wholesale, federal, content and media, midmarket, and indirect. All six sales channels report to the president of sales Andrew Crouch.[29] The top performing Level 3 indirect sales agencies in 2010 include Intelisys, Microcorp, CDW/AVANT Communications, PlanetOne, Advantage Communications Group, Telarus, and Presidio.[30]

Comcast Dispute

On November 11, 2010 a dispute arose between Level 3 and Comcast, when Level 3 announced that they were "selected to serve as a primary content delivery network (CDN) provider for Netflix, Inc. to support the company’s streaming functionality."[31] Apparently, as a result of this distribution agreement, Comcast sought to renegotiate the peering agreement with Level 3 and sought a recurring fee for carrying the increased Level 3 internet traffic to and from Comcast broadband customers. Claims[32] and counter-claims[33] were made as the two companies sought to renegotiate the contract. In December 2010, the New America Foundation submitted information concerning the dispute to the FCC.[34]

On July 16, 2013, Level 3 Communications and Comcast seemingly ended their three-year dispute by issuing a statement that "Level 3 and Comcast have resolved their prior interconnect dispute on mutually satisfactory terms. Details will not be released."[35] On May 21, 2015, Level 3 and Comcast announced a new multi-year bilateral agreement to "enhance their existing network capacity while extending their mutual interconnection agreements, ensuring that both maintain ample capacity to exchange Internet traffic between their networks."[36][37]

Other Disputes

In July 2013, the NSA was accused of wiretapping large parts of data on the German Internet Exchange Point DE-CIX which was denied by Level 3,[38] and a few months later, was accused of tapping connections between Google and Yahoo data centers.[39]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/lvlt/financials
  2. http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/lvlt/financials/balance-sheet
  3. https://finance.yahoo.com/quote/LVLT/financials?p=LVLT
  4. 1 2 3 About Level 3 Level 3 Communications Official Site
  5. "Level 3 Company Profile". Telecom Industry News. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  6. 1 2 Company History: A Network Built to Support the Silicon Economics Cycle Level 3 Communications Official Site
  7. Theregister.co.uk "Level 3 pays $3bn for Global Crossing". Apr 11, 2011. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  8. Leena Rao, publication. "Level 3 To Acquire Global Crossing For $3 Billion In Stock." April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  9. Anders Bylund, Daily Finance. "Level 3 Communications Plunged: What You Need to Know." Aug 8, 2011. Retrieved Aug 10, 2011.
  10. Denver Business Journal. "Level 3 completes reverse stock split, moves to NYSE." Oct 20, 2011. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  11. Holverson, Austin. "European Content Provider Voxility Selects Level 3 to Provide Global High Speed IP Connectivity". Telecom Industry Updates. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  12. Chugg, Justin. "U.S. Department of Defense Finalizes Selection of Level 3 for 10 year Multimillion Dollar Task Order". Telecom Industry News. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  13. "Level 3 to Buy TW Telecom for $5.7 Billion". New York Times. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  14. "Level 3 Acquires DDoS Mitigation Company Black Lotus". Level 3 Communications. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  15. "Level 3 Communications, LLC". National Broadband Map. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  16. International Backhaul Map Level 3 Communications Official Site
  17. European Back haul Map Level 3 Communications Official Site
  18. Financial Services Case Study: Liquidity Express Route: An Information; Fast Track for Financial Services Level 3 Communications Official Site
  19. Level 3 acquires Viatel transatlantic assets
  20. Level 3 Communications Selects Apollo apollo-scs.com, 17th February 2008
  21. WHOIS: AS1
  22. Visualizing Internet Topology at a Macroscopic Scale January 2009, caida.org
  23. AS ranking caida.org
  24. Level 3 revenue falls despite Netflix deal reuters.com, Wed Feb 2, 2011 9:12am EST
  25. Level 3 acquires Savvis video networkworld.com, December 26, 2006
  26. Internet2 and Level 3 Communications to Deploy Next Generation Nationwide Research Network
  27. Henderson, Khali (30 July 2010). "Level 3 Reorganizes NA Sales". Channel Partners Online. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  28. Henderson, Khali (24 March 2011). "Level 3 Names Top Partners for 2010". Channel Partners Online. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  29. http://investors.level3.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2010/Netflix-Signs-Multi-Year-Deal-with-Level-3-for-Streaming-Services/default.aspx Netflix Signs Multi-Year Deal with Level 3 for Streaming Services
  30. http://investors.level3.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2010/Level-3-Communications-Issues-Statement-Concerning-Comcasts-Actions/default.aspx Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcasts Actions
  31. http://corporate.comcast.com/comcast-voices/comcast-comments-on-level-3 Comcast Comments on Level 3
  32. Concerns Regarding Dispute Between Comcast Corporation and Level 3 Communications, filed by New America Foundation FCC.gov, December 8, 2010
  33. http://news.level3.com/news-archive?item=136853 Level 3 and Comcast Issue Statement
  34. Comcast and Level 3 announce long-term interconnection agreement
  35. http://investors.level3.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2015/Comcast-and-Level-3-Announce-Long-Term-Interconnection-Agreement/default.aspx Comcast and Level 3 announce long-term interconnection agreement
  36. Wie der DE-CIX abgehört wird(German)
  37. N.S.A. May Have Hit Internet Companies at a Weak Spot
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