Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) announced today that it is making its Manchetser PoP in the UK resilient, meaning that it will now be independent of the company's hub in London and will feature diverse routing. There is apparently an effort underway in Manchester to stimulate the economy and attract new businesses, and Level 3 is taking advantage of whatever carrots the city is offering. They also stated that they will continue to invest capex in European infrastructure throughout 2010.
Level 3's presence in the UK has always focused heavily on London, both for its own customers and as a gateway to the rest of the continent. It has never really delved into the market beyond that, probably because the intercity and large enterprise marketplace in the UK is rather competitive. While it has had a presence in Manchester before this obviously, it spent its European expansion capex over the past few years adding replacing wavelengths with fiber just about everywhere else to the North, East, and South.
The extra bulk in Manchester suggests perhaps that the company could taking a closer look at the rest of the UK market as well, but a two city presence is still a far cry from a full scale effort. From an M&A standpoint, this expansion alongside the recent agreement with GlobeNet aiming at South America might also be thought of as a way to distance itself from an immediate need to make an offer for glbc, which of course has substantial businesses in both places. Or not, who knows.