Level 3 expands its Northern California business presence, increases network diversity

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Level 3 Communications (NYSE: LVLT) is stepping up its competitive stance in the Northern California market by expanding its local network presence.

Among the newest enhancements include the placement of fiber in existing electrical conduit, which it says will speed up delivery of new circuits while providing diverse access paths into area buildings. Having a diverse routing infrastructure design will also enable it to maintain uptime, particularly from earthquakes and other natural disasters that are common to the region.

"In Northern California, we have this availability with electrical infrastructure and I would overall say it in general it simplifies the process and provides efficiencies and in conjunction with that is disaster redundancy and disaster recovery," said Brian Britton, general manager of Northern California region for Level 3, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "We have always had and scaled a reliable and secure network and this is an additional complementary service in conjunction with that."

A key driver of the expansion is to be able to support its business clients' migration to the cloud, something that has become a major focus for Level 3.

Britton said he is seeing a lot of demand from technology companies, professional services, health care, manufacturing and retail that have operations in the Northern California region.

"Level 3 has had deep metro market footprint focus, which has continued to expand in the Northern California region," Britton said. "I think the drivers behind that is the overall growth with a broad range of local companies.

This latest expansion builds on the service provider's well-established set of network facilities in the market.

Its fiber network currently connects to more than 300 buildings via over 650 fiber route miles. The service provider has additional colocation services at five data centers in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, Emeryville and Santa Clara, Calif.

Britton said that what helps Level 3 battle aggressive cable operators in the business service space is the fact that they can provide an extension to the broader global market.

"One of the trends we're seeing within our space, specifically to Level 3 is we have always had this comprehensive portfolio of voice, video and data services, but it's tying in our global network as a differentiator," Britton said. "We are different than a cable MSO in the sense that we have a significant global infrastructure and conjunction with our deep market metro footprint those local companies and global companies are attracted to that."

Building out these facilities comes at a time when Level 3 is seeing continual growth in its Enterprise business. Such a trend was on display in the fourth quarter of 2014, where revenues rose 9 percent year-over-year to $939 million, up from $871 million in the same period a year ago.

Level 3 may be the latest service provider to enhance its Northern California network facilities, but it certainly is not alone. It will face strong competition from rivals Integra and tw telecom (Nasdaq: TWTC), both of which have made similar moves over the past year to enhance their network presence in the region. 

For more:
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Related articles:
Level 3 forecasts a flat Q1, but sees Q4 services revenue jump
Level 3's Storey: Enterprise business growth continues despite economic headwinds
tw telecom brings fiber-based services to 30 Bay Area data centers
Integra connects its fiber network into 62 data centers

Updated article on Feb. 19 with quotes from Brian Britton, general manager of Northern California region for Level 3.