Level 3 Announces New Policy for Internet Protocol Interconnection

Oct 12, 2011, 08:00 ET from Level 3 Communications, Inc.

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Level 3 Communications, Inc., (NASDAQ: LVLT) today announced that it has posted a revised peering policy for Internet Protocol traffic exchanged within the United States to accommodate a rapidly changing Internet. The new policy, which can be found on Level 3's website at http://www.level3.com/Legal/IP-Traffic-Exchange-Policy, was created by Level 3 to address questions raised by the Department of Justice during its review of Level 3's acquisition of Global Crossing Limited.  

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The revised policy sets forth four overarching principles that Level 3 believes should control all next-generation peering arrangements:

  1. The primary objective of a peering arrangement is to enable each party to deliver high-quality service to its Internet customers.
  2. The interconnection architecture and traffic exchange practices of each party should assure that the exchange of traffic is resilient, secure and quickly scalable.
  3. Regardless of the direction or type of traffic exchanged between the networks, or the technology used to deliver it, the parties should work together to implement routing practices and adjust location of interconnection points such that each party bears a reasonably equal share of backbone burdens - taking into account the amount of traffic carried by each party and the distance over which that traffic is carried. This will give each party the option to use its own backbone network to balance backbone network burdens between the parties and thus eliminate the need to impose charges to interconnect or carry traffic.
  4. Any termination or modification of a peering arrangement should be managed by both parties in a manner that minimizes adverse impacts to each party's customers and the overall operation of the Internet.

"For too long, peering practices between Internet carriers have focused solely on the commercial needs of the carriers," said Jack Waters, chief technology officer for Level 3. "We believe that the focus should be on customers, and that carriers must attempt to structure and implement fair and equitable interconnection relationships and practices that are designed to deliver fast, secure, reliable and quickly scalable Internet services to customers. Peering relationships and practices from a decade ago were implemented when traffic was dominated by email and text-based communications, and periodic interruptions in Internet service were common. Today, residential, governmental and commercial users rely on the Internet for rich content and applications, and demand better performance in an increasingly dynamic Internet environment. Fair, equitable, scalable and dynamic interconnection is essential to deliver that experience."

One fundamental aspect of the new policy is a requirement that carriers adjust routing practices and interconnection locations so that the distance and volume of traffic carried by each party on their backbone network remains equitable.  

"Over the past decade, network management tools available to carriers have advanced dramatically, giving all carriers far more visibility into the traffic on their networks and the practices that carriers can dynamically adjust to assure high-quality service," continued Waters. "Carriers can and should put those tools to work to assure that peering practices enable high-quality service while at the same time preserving fairness and equity between carriers. If one party to a settlement-free peering relationship is carrying far less traffic over far less distances than the other party, the policy would require changes to interconnection locations and routing to more equitably distribute the burden of carrying traffic and thus preserve a fair settlement-free peering relationship. In addition, the policy contemplates that carriers should meet and confer frequently to augment interconnection capacity, and adjust interconnection locations so that Internet content sought by customers can be delivered with increasing quality and without congestion that can adversely impact consumers' Internet experience."

The revised policy takes effect immediately, and applies to the combined networks of Level 3 and Global Crossing.

About Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) is a premier international provider of IP-based communications services to enterprise, content, government and wholesale customers. Over its reliable, scalable and secure network, Level 3 delivers integrated IP solutions, including converged, data, voice, video and managed solutions to help enable customers' growth and efficiency. Level 3 operates a unique global services platform anchored by owned fiber networks on three continents in more than 45 countries, connected by extensive undersea facilities. For more information, visit www.level3.com.

© Level 3 Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Level 3, Level 3 Communications, Level (3), Think Ahead, the Level 3 Logo and the Level 3 Think Ahead logo are either registered service marks or service marks of Level 3 Communications, LLC and/or one of its Affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. Level 3 services are provided by wholly owned subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications, Inc.  Any other service names, product names, company names or logos included herein are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statement

Some of the statements made in this press release are forward looking in nature. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs. These forward looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside Level 3's control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. The most important factors that could prevent Level 3 from achieving its stated goals include, but are not limited to:  the company's ability to successfully integrate the Global Crossing acquisition, the current uncertainty in the global financial markets and the global economy; a discontinuation of the development and expansion of the Internet as a communications medium and marketplace for the distribution and consumption of data and video; and disruptions in the financial markets that could affect Level 3's ability to obtain additional financing.  Additional factors include, but are not limited to, the company's ability to:  increase and maintain the volume of traffic on its network; develop effective business support systems; manage system and network failures or disruptions; develop new services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; defend intellectual property and proprietary rights; adapt to rapid technological changes that lead to further competition; attract and retain qualified management and other personnel; successfully integrate future acquisitions; and meet all of the terms and conditions of debt obligations. Additional information concerning these and other important factors can be found within Level 3's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. Level 3 is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Contact Information

Media:

Investors:

Monica Martinez

Mark Stoutenberg

720-888-3991

720-888-2518

Monica.Martinez@Level3.com  

Mark.Stoutenberg@Level3.com

SOURCE Level 3 Communications, Inc.



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