Back in mid-2009, Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) unveiled a new plan to take better advantage of its local assets by decentralizing decision-making power and investing in locally focused personnel. They went on to take the concept to several dozen markets over the next year or so, and then spent the following year turning those markets into growth engines - and touted the improving results in the mid-Market division that followed. But those markets were not the only ones it seemed as if Level 3 had the assets to tackle in this way, and so I was pleased to see them add another market to the list today.
The Pittsburgh metro area was relatively minor Level 3 market until the Telcove purchase, but is nowadays home to more than 1000 route miles of Level 3 fiber. The company has about 2000 route miles altogether in the Western Pennsylvania region, which I assume probably includes their metro footprints in Erie and Altoona/State College. Those assets will now be getting the local treatment and of course its own regional general manager, Stan Stanek.
I'm curious if this is a standalone event or if Level 3's local experiences in the past several years have emboldened them to expand the effort to another few dozen markets. [Update: a Level 3 rep says it's standalone, but I can hope...] Despite the company's increased aggressiveness on the ground, their lit building count hasn't really moved the needle all that much in the past few years. With both demand and capex rising, I'm expecting that to start changing this year.