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Press Release -- April 14th, 2011
Source: Level 3 Communications
Tags: Colocation, Equipment, Ethernet, Exchange, Expansion, Video

Internet2 and Level 3 to Provide Unprecedented Amount of Network Capacity to Research and Educational Institutions in Support of Telemedicine, Distance Learning and a Range of Research Programs

  • Level 3 to provide fiber and network support - critical building blocks for new 8.8 Terabit network
  • Federal stimulus-funded network to accommodate advanced applications for more than 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide — three times the amount reached today

ANN ARBOR, Mich. & BROOMFIELD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Internet2 and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NYSE:LVLT, news, filings) today announced a new, multi-year agreement to build a national network with an unprecedented 8.8 Terabits of capacity designed to support more than 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide, including K-12 schools, libraries, community colleges, health centers, hospitals and public safety organizations. The new network, partially funded by a federal stimulus grant, will enable a wide variety of bandwidth-intensive applications and data sharing. Network development and deployment is scheduled to begin immediately with the first coast-to-coast segments expected to be in service by mid-summer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Internet2, an advanced networking consortium led by the U.S. research and education community, will acquire the right to use fiber strands on Level 3's fiber-optic network as well as Level 3's network management support to enable its new national 8.8 Terabit Optical System and 100 Gigabit Ethernet Network. Internet2 will utilize more than 10,000 miles of fiber on the Level 3 national footprint and gain the ability to obtain additional miles for the next three years as needed. Level 3 will install Internet2's 8.8 Terabit optical equipment and provide 24/7 monitoring and field support to these facilities. Colocation facilities and power for the network will also be provided by Level 3.

Through a federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), Internet2 is dramatically expanding the capacity and footprint of its network to meet the immediate high-performance, high-capacity needs of research and higher education — the community that Internet2 has served since its inception.

Working with regional and state networks and through the recently established United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project, the Internet2 Network will enable education, health care, libraries, and public safety institutions to access advanced application opportunities not possible with consumer-grade Internet services. The network also provides researchers pushing today's network capacity boundaries — like those in the fields of high energy physics, climate research and radio astronomy — with an unmatched resource to help accelerate their scientific output.

"Today's announcement with Level 3 represents another major milestone in helping to fulfill the promise of Internet2's BTOP grant by providing the critical underlying infrastructure needed to support community anchor institutions nationwide," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of Network Services. "Level 3 has been a committed, reliable provider to Internet2 for many years. They have gained a unique understanding of the needs of the research and education community, providing a customer-directed network support arrangement that allows Internet2 to be highly innovative and highly flexible. When coupled with Level 3's field support resources, this agreement is a natural evolution of our relationship. It also allows our members to leverage existing network investments to realize dramatically enhanced capabilities today, as well as position all of the communities we serve with the ability to significantly grow and take advantage of new opportunities well into the future."

Internet2 will partner closely with Level 3 on the daily operations of the network while remaining the owner of the optical equipment with the right of use on the fiber infrastructure and will also direct provisioning and capacity planning. The arrangement allows Internet2 to deliver aggressive service level commitments and maintain its network at the leading edge of technology deployment while also benefiting from Level 3's extensive experience and the expertise of its field support and optical management team.

"It takes a massive amount of bandwidth to educate the leaders of tomorrow, to keep the medical community connected to the latest findings, and to power cutting-edge research projects that can enhance everyday living. With Level 3's fiber-optic network and expertise, Internet2 is ready to support the bandwidth-intensive scientific and medical research applications that are changing lives both today and in the future," said Edward Morche, senior vice president of Level 3's Federal Markets.

Level 3's managed fiber solution leverages the company's extensive network reach, including 54,000 route miles of intercity dark fiber assets connecting more than 190 markets and 27,000 route miles of metro dark fiber.

About Internet2

Internet2 is an advanced networking consortium led by the research and education community. An exceptional partnership spanning U.S. and international institutions who are leaders in the worlds of research, academia, industry and government, Internet2 is developing breakthrough cyberinfrastructure technologies that support the most exacting applications of today — and spark the most essential innovations of tomorrow. Led by its members and focused on their current and future networking needs since 1996, Internet2 blends its human, IP and optical networks to develop and deploy revolutionary Internet technologies. Activating the same partnerships that produced today's Internet, the Internet2 community is forging the Internet of the future. For more information, see http://www.internet2.edu.

About Level 3 Communications

Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) is a leading international provider of fiber-based communications services. Enterprise, content, wholesale and government customers rely on Level 3 to deliver services with an industry-leading combination of scalability and value over an end-to-end fiber network. Level 3 offers a portfolio of metro and long-haul services, including transport, data, Internet, content delivery and voice. For more information, visit www.Level3.com.

© Level 3 Communications, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Level 3, Level 3 Communications and the Level 3 Communications Logo are either registered service marks or service marks of Level 3 Communications, LLC and/or one of its Affiliates in the United States and/or other countries. Level 3 services are provided by wholly owned subsidiaries of Level 3 Communications, Inc. Any other service names, product names, company names or logos included herein are the trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.

Forward-Looking Statement

Some of the statements made in this press release are forward looking in nature. These statements are based on management's current expectations or beliefs. These forward looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside Level 3's control, which could cause actual events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements. The most important factors that could prevent Level 3 from achieving its stated goals include, but are not limited to: the current uncertainty in the global financial markets and the global economy; a discontinuation of the development and expansion of the Internet as a communications medium and marketplace for the distribution and consumption of data and video; and disruptions in the financial markets that could affect Level 3's ability to obtain additional financing. Additional factors include, but are not limited to, the company's ability to: increase and maintain the volume of traffic on its network; develop effective business support systems; manage system and network failures or disruptions; develop new services that meet customer demands and generate acceptable margins; defend intellectual property and proprietary rights; adapt to rapid technological changes that lead to further competition; attract and retain qualified management and other personnel; successfully integrate acquisitions; and meet all of the terms and conditions of debt obligations. Additional information concerning these and other important factors can be found within Level 3's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Statements in this press release should be evaluated in light of these important factors. Level 3 is under no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or alter its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Level 3 Media Contact:
Monica Martinez, 720-888-3991
Monica.Martinez@Level3.com
or
Level 3 Investor Contact:
Mark Stoutenberg, 720-888-2518
Mark.Stoutenberg@Level3.com
or
Internet2 Media Contact:
Ryan Bass, 202-331-5342
bassr@internet2.edu

Source: Level 3 Communications

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