Level 3 today announced an expansion of services in Canada, adding both transport and IP services in Toronto and Montreal and transport services in Montreal. They had already sold transport in Toronto, yet despite having a loop through the area since the original Level 3 network was built, they have barely ventured across the border until now.
As recently as their last 10-K, Level 3 has said this about the Canadian market:
Ownership of non-international transmission facilities are limited to Canadian carriers but we can own international undersea cables landing in Canada. We cannot, under current law, enter the Canadian market as a provider of transmission facilities based domestic services. In 2003, two committees of the Canadian House of Commons issued conflicting recommendations on whether to lift the foreign ownership restrictions that prohibit carriers like us from owning intra-Canadian transmission facilities. If the ownership restrictions are repealed, we anticipate that we will be able to expand our operations and service offerings in Canada.
I am not a follower of Canadian telecom regulations, so can anyone tell me whether they have in fact lifted the restrictions on intra-Canadian transmission facilities? Or has some other arrangement been put in place?
Regardless, Level 3's move seems to imply a renewed focus on North American expansion, as opposed to the last 12 months of deep introspection and repair of their existing markets. In the past, Canadian customers looking for IP transit from Level 3 have needed to buy backhaul to the USA or have their own links to get there. I'm glad they're finally getting some use out of that northern loop, it's always looked so sad and forlorn up there.
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