Level 3 Communications

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Level 3 Communications, Inc.
DefunctNovember 1, 2017 (2017-11-01)
FateAcquired by CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies)
HeadquartersBroomfield, Colorado, United States
Key people
James O. Ellis Jr. (Chairman)
Jeff Storey (CEO)
Sunit Patel (CFO)
ProductsMobile telephony, Internet services, Content delivery
RevenueIncreaseUS$ 8.3 billion (2015)[1]
IncreaseUS$ 1.3 billion (2015)[1]
IncreaseUS$3.4 billion (2015)[1]
Total assetsIncreaseUS$24.1 billion (2015)[2]
Total equityIncreaseUS$10.1 billion (2015)[3]
Number of employees
ParentLumen Technologies
ASNs3356, 1, 11213, 7911, 281, 10753, 594, 2551, 199, 560, 20476, 3549, 19094, 19591, 279, 30686, 189, 18756, 16852, 7176, 6395, 8043, 524, 19962, 200, 201, 202, 203, 595, 596, 597, 598, 3508, 3831, 4323, 6467, 6484, 7037, 22026, 26458, 32421 Edit this at Wikidata

Level 3 Communications was an American multinational telecommunications and Internet service provider company headquartered in Broomfield, Colorado.[4] It ultimately became a part of CenturyLink (now Lumen Technologies), where Level 3 President and CEO Jeff Storey was installed as Chief Operating Officer, becoming CEO of CenturyLink one year later in a prearranged succession plan.

Level 3 operated a Tier 1 network.[4] The company provided 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 was 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] Level 3 became part of CenturyLink on November 1, 2017.


1985 to 2000[edit]

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[edit]

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 2017[edit]

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 $34 billion.[16]

On October 3, 2017, the deal was approved by the United States Department of Justice on condition of selling some of Level 3's telecom holdings in three states.[17] The deal officially closed and Level 3 became part of CenturyLink on November 1, 2017.

On November 1, 2017, Level 3 Communications officially merged with CenturyLink.[18][19] As part of the merger, work was required to divest of 24 individual fiber optic lines spanning 30 city pairs as required by the US Department of Justice. Additionally, Level 3 was required to divest of metro Ethernet markets in Boise, Tucson, and Albuquerque to satisfy antitrust requirements. The company complied with the divestiture of those assets.



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

Level 3 Communications operated a large network Internet, with infrastructure in 46 states in the continental United States,[20][21] South America, Western Europe,[4][22] and some cities in Asia. It uses transatlantic cables,[23] including "Yellow" /AC-2 (on which it owned two of the four fiber pairs after Viatel's 2001 bankruptcy).[24] Level 3 Communications has also purchased 300 Gbit/s of capacity on the Apollo (cable system).[25]

At the time of acquisition by CenturyLink, it was owner of AS1[26] (following the acquisition of Genuity, from BBN Technologies), but it used AS3356 for operations. AS3356 as of 2007 consistently had one of the highest ranked connectivity degrees on the Internet.[27][28] It also operated the former Global Crossing network (AS3549) following the company acquisition in 2011.

Level 3 Communications delivered Netflix and Apple music and video content over the Internet.[29] The company ran a content delivery network which it acquired from Savvis in 2006.[30]

In 2006, Level 3 Communications announced with Internet2, an academic network, that they would deploy a next generation nationwide research network.[31]

Sales organization[edit]

Level 3 distributed and sold its services through a mix of six independent sales channels: large enterprise, wholesale, federal, content and media, midmarket, and indirect. All six sales channels reported to the president of sales Andrew Crouch.[32] The top performing Level 3 indirect sales agencies in 2010 included Intelisys, Microcorp, CDW/AVANT Communications, PlanetOne, Advantage Communications Group, Telarus, and Presidio.[33]

Comcast dispute[edit]

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."[34] 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[35] and counter-claims[36] 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.[37]

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."[38] 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."[39][40]

Other disputes[edit]

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,[41] and a few months later, was accused of tapping connections between Google and Yahoo data centers.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Stock Ticker Symbol Lookup - MarketWatch".
  2. ^ "Stock Ticker Symbol Lookup - MarketWatch".
  3. ^ "Symbol Lookup from Yahoo Finance".
  4. ^ a b c "About Level 3". Level 3 Communications. Archived from the original on 2011-01-27.
  5. ^ "Level 3 Company Profile". Telecom Industry News. Archived from the original on 6 April 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  6. ^ "CenturyLink to acquire Level 3 Communications".
  7. ^ a b Company History: A Network Built to Support the Silicon Economics Cycle Archived 2010-04-09 at the Wayback Machine Level 3 Communications Official Site
  8. ^ Theregister.co.uk "Level 3 pays $3bn for Global Crossing". Apr 11, 2011. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  9. ^ Leena Rao, publication. "Level 3 To Acquire Global Crossing For $3 Billion In Stock." April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  10. ^ Anders Bylund, Daily Finance. "Level 3 Communications Plunged: What You Need to Know Archived 2012-09-26 at the Wayback Machine." Aug 8, 2011. Retrieved Aug 10, 2011.
  11. ^ Denver Business Journal. "Level 3 completes reverse stock split, moves to NYSE." Oct 20, 2011. Retrieved Oct 21, 2011.
  12. ^ Holverson, Austin. "European Content Provider Voxility Selects Level 3 to Provide Global High Speed IP Connectivity". Telecom Industry Updates. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  13. ^ Chugg, Justin. "U.S. Department of Defense Finalizes Selection of Level 3 for 10 year Multimillion Dollar Task Order". Telecom Industry News. Archived from the original on 21 May 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Level 3 to Buy TW Telecom for $5.7 Billion". New York Times. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  15. ^ "Level 3 Acquires DDoS Mitigation Company Black Lotus". Level 3 Communications. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  16. ^ "DOJ Tells CenturyLink to Divest Level 3 Telecom Holdings to Win Deal Approval". 2017-10-03.
  17. ^ "CenturyLink completes acquisition of Level 3". CenturyLink. No. November 1, 2017. PR Newswire (press release). Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "CenturyLink completes acquisition of Level 3".
  19. ^ "Level 3 Communications, LLC". National Broadband Map. Retrieved 2014-04-28.
  20. ^ International Backhaul Map Archived 2014-04-29 at the Wayback Machine Level 3 Communications Official Site
  21. ^ European Back haul Map Archived 2010-10-10 at the Wayback Machine Level 3 Communications Official Site
  22. ^ Financial Services Case Study: Liquidity Express Route: An Information; Fast Track for Financial Services Archived 2011-07-13 at the Wayback Machine Level 3 Communications Official Site
  23. ^ "Level 3 acquires Viatel transatlantic assets". Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-03-11.
  24. ^ Level 3 Communications Selects Apollo Archived 2011-07-07 at the Wayback Machine apollo-scs.com, 17th February 2008
  25. ^ WHOIS: AS1
  26. ^ Visualizing Internet Topology at a Macroscopic Scale January 2009, caida.org
  27. ^ AS ranking caida.org
  28. ^ Level 3 revenue falls despite Netflix deal reuters.com, Wed Feb 2, 2011 9:12am EST
  29. ^ Level 3 acquires Savvis video Archived 2012-05-29 at the Wayback Machine networkworld.com, December 26, 2006
  30. ^ Internet2 and Level 3 Communications to Deploy Next Generation Nationwide Research Network
  31. ^ Henderson, Khali (30 July 2010). "Level 3 Reorganizes NA Sales". Channel Partners Online. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
  32. ^ Henderson, Khali (24 March 2011). "Level 3 Names Top Partners for 2010". Channel Partners Online. Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  33. ^ 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
  34. ^ "LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS ISSUES STATEMENT CONCERNING COMCAST'S ACTIONS". Level 3 Communications. 29 November 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  35. ^ Waz, Joe (29 November 2010). "Comcast Comments on Level 3". Comcast. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  36. ^ Lennett, Benjamin; Losey, James; Meinrath, Sascha (8 December 2010). "Dear Assistant Attorney General Varney, Chairman Genachowski, and Commissioners". fcc.gov. Federal Communications Commission. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  37. ^ "Level 3 and Comcast Issue Statement". BROOMFIELD, Colo.: Level 3 Communications. 26 July 2013. Archived from the original on 8 October 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2018.
  38. ^ Comcast and Level 3 announce long-term interconnection agreement
  39. ^ 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
  40. ^ Wie der DE-CIX abgehört wird(in German)
  41. ^ N.S.A. May Have Hit Internet Companies at a Weak Spot

External links[edit]

  • Business data for Level 3 Communications: