In another signal that Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) is shifting to a more aggressive posture, they have added some new network infrastructure over in Europe. Today they announced a new French PoP in the growing market of Toulouse, on a new route which bisects their previous Paris-Madrid-Marseille ring, thus creating two additional rings that give them more meaningful regional coverage in both France and in Spain. They did not mention whether the expansion across southern France was via wavelengths or dark fiber – they added dark fiber on the other parts of those loops a few years back after starting out with waves. Perhaps someone will chime in with that info.
But also on the new map issued with the PR I noticed that Level 3 seems to have made a move across the Baltic Sea and added a new PoP in Helsinki. That one’s not on their current public map and I haven’t seen it announced yet, though it’s been an obvious target for a long time in my humble opinion. There are more targets to the east and south if they’ve finally got the money to put behind further expansion.
To see Level 3 adding breadth to its European business again is nice to see, as its competition amongst pan-European networks has been quite active in doing so lately. Interoute and Cogent, for example, have been pushing into new territory quite regularly. What they don’t have in this new territory yet is metro coverage, although the metro business outside of the main markets of Western Europe is still pretty minimal unless you’re a PTT.
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