Internet backbone operator Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced that they have been selected by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) as a national provider. Level 3 will extend a wide range of services (voice, data, video) to all 39 BCBSA companies nationwide, taking full advantage of its metro and longhaul footprint. The exchange of medical data is sure to be one of the big growth areas in networking over the next decade, and this positions them well to take advantage of it.
It appears that the BCBSA was an existing customer of Level 3, but that this contract expands that relationship substantially. A nice national corporate contract like this certainly can't hurt Level 3's attempts to restart its growth engine after the past two years and the recent economic storm. This is the sort of contract that usually went to an AT&T or Verizon or Sprint in the past, and it is the kind that Level 3 was built to win but hasn't yet won enough of.
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