Level 3 Communications is actually purchasing Global Crossing for $2 billion. When this merger is complete, their combined fiber optic assets will reach 70 countries on 3 continents.
Level 3 has an extensive long haul network with metro fiber in many US cities. Their transatlantic undersea fiber connects to a European network to link the USA and major European cities with low latency fiber connections. Level 3 is a major player in the high speed financial trading space, as well as providing other high bandwidth fiber services for global business needs.
Another strength of Level 3 is video transport. Their Vyvx service carries both high definition and standard video programming for studios and networks. For the highest in transmission feed quality, Level 3 Vyvx offers uncompressed high definition video transport services between Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and New York City at 1.5 and 3.0 Gbps. The Level 3 Content Delivery Network (CDN) has 35 strategically placed cashing locations to keep the content as near the customer as possible.
What Global Crossing does is complement rather than compete with Level 3’s US/Europe network. Global Crossing has over 100,000 route miles of fiber optic cable installed around the world. This includes US and Europe network fiber that overlaps Level 3 to some extent. But it also brings trans-pacific undersea fiber and connections to Japan, China, India, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Connected to its North America network is an extensive fiber optic networking serving the major cities in South America.
Global Crossing is true to its name. Their fiber really does span the world. Add Global Crossing’s network to the Level 3 network and you have extensive connectivity throughout North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia, with some facilities extending to the Middle East and Africa.
What does this mean for you, the business user? It certainly means more availability of converged IP network services worldwide and specialty services, such as low latency routes and video transport. Both Level 3 and Global Crossing have been serving major enterprise customers and carriers. They’ve got the expertise and facilities to accomplish whatever you will ever need in the way of connectivity.
Level 3, especially, also caters to smaller and medium businesses in the US. Their T1, bonded T1 and Ethernet over Copper solutions offer dedicated bandwidth at very reasonable prices. For companies that need to link multiple locations, Level 3 MPLS can create a company network that spans the country and extends to include offices, factories and warehouses worldwide.
Fiber optic networks are enjoying a new renaissance, as businesses move to cloud processes and automation that increases employee productivity. You see more fiber going into the ground in both major cities and rural areas. If you’ve been affiliated with Level 3 or Global Crossing, your connection capabilities are about to be increased significantly.
If you are looking to increase your connection speeds, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by the wide range of services available and the cost reductions that have come about in recent years from these and other competitive carriers. Don’t assume that you can’t get or afford higher bandwidth, even fiber, until you get prices and availability for business bandwidth services appropriate to your facility locations.
Note: Image of Earth from over the Atlantic Ocean courtesy of the U.S. Government on Wikimedia Commons