Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) said today that it is taking its new approach to local markets to the Philadelphia area. Level 3 has a very large presence in Philadelphia with over 300 enterprise buildings on-net and more than 100 wholesale targets. Some of that presence came with the original build, but much of it was part of the Telcove footprint which was huge all throughout Pennsylvania. It’s nice to see them finally making a real effort to take advantage of their assets in the region.
The company began this effort with 5 markets back in May, but has been quiet since. Now, after 5 months under their belt they are finally ready to expand the effort – which implies that they have found some merit in it. Of those original 5, last May I suggested that Philadelphia might most closely resemble the Denver Front Range market in terms of their presence and could be a followup target – nice to be right for once. The ‘Philadelphia area’ they cite is actually a bit broader than that, including Camden, Reading, Allentown, and Wilmington. Having grown up and lived in the region much of my life I can say that those are nearby, but with the exception of Camden they’re not *that* nearby, especially Allentown. So it’s more of a Philadelphia region, composed of several distinct metro networks linked by regional fiber.
The last local expansion group was of 5 markets, and the company has said it would double that by the end of the year. Philadelphia makes 6, so they will probably be rolling out one every few weeks from here on out if not quicker. Perhaps they will complete the set, creating a Western Pennsylvania group based in Harrisburg (one of their largest markets nationwide) but covering the other economically similar non-Philadelphia urban centers in the state – not unlike the upstate NY region back in May. That would give them several adjacent regions with local focus – upstate NY, Philadelphia area, Western PA, and the DC area. Or perhaps they will space things out more.
I am curious to see if in their earnings call Level 3 will give us any insights into how the changes to the initial 5 markets affected their performance. What kind of progress are they seeing with the enhanced local focus?
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Sounds like a growth story is developing again, if one was to fantasize about previous 20 percent CAGR stories prior to “stubbed toes.” OUCH!
Robert, Does Wall Street West remain DOA?
Should (3) owners hold Goldman’s crew responsible for this “missing link,” or was that another (3) mishap with the responsible party, ABDEL, being relieved of his duties as a result?
Speculation has it that Wall St. West (PA) may have taken a setback of sorts when the NYSE decided to build its new data center in NJ, east and north of the PA location we’re calling WSW, and at only ~ less than a third the distance.
I’ll go so far as to assume that the 3x to 4x distance differential between the site that was selected in NJ and WSW may have had a big hand in this, since mileage affects both latency and the operating ranges of some storage and mainframe mirroring applications. Although, I must state that I’ve not read or heard this explanation verbalized as a determining factor in the decision calculus, leastwise not publicly, but it would make at least a modicum of sense.
Then again, there may still be a plan that I’m unaware of to do an A-B mirroring or load-sharing scheme between the NJ site and WSW, or even somewhere else, which would only make sense.
There are launches set for Chicago,Miami,New York & one other major city .
Chicago & Miami are in oct , NY is Nov 5 .
(3) is also introducing very most competitive pricing in those markets to go along with new headcount for those markets. (3) also introduced pricing that is very competitive on the national level. I have not seen pricing this competitive in a long time at any global telecommunicatons company. This should be an interesting two quarters for (3).
On Level 3’s website, there is an investor relations drop down page for press releases. Through the events calender, Level 3 has already published the launch dates for Chicago, Miami, New York and Atlanta.
Lots of fiber providers in Philadelphia … not a big deal …