Level 3, Internet2 Plan 8.8Tbit/s

Internet2 and Level 3 Communications signed a multi-year agreement to build a national network with 8.8 Terabits of capacity

April 15, 2011

3 Min Read

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- Internet2 and Level 3 Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: LVLT) 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."

Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT)


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