Level 3 boosts CDN capacity to 5.6 Tbps

When Internet service provider Level 3 Communications (NYSE:LVLT) acquired Global Crossing in October 2011, one of the major immediate benefits of the $3 billion deal looked to be a greatly expanded international presence for the combined company's content delivery network assets.

That still looks to be the case, and the acquisition apparently has not slowed any of Level 3's efforts to grow its other content delivery network (CDN) assets on a more organic basis.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 announced at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas this week that it has just completed a global CDN upgrade project that improves its current CDN to 5.6 terabits per second, much more than the 2.1 Tbps of capacity it boasted about two years ago.

The carrier said it took on the capacity upgrade in order to handle ongoing bandwidth demand and growth in its CDN customer base.

Some of Level 3's upgrade gave it enhanced capacity to support customers in Latin America, which is one area where the Global Crossing deal also is said to improve its CDN capabilities.

Level 3 CDN customers such as Netflix (Nasdaq:NFLX) have been conducting their own international market expansions, which likely were a major factor in when and where Level 3 chose to upgrade capacity.

Level 3's capacity upgrade also comes as other CDN providers are aggressively pursuing acquisitions.

Akamai last year bought Cotendo, and India's Tata Communications acquired Bit Gravity. Telcos--including AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ)--also upped their CDN game last year to better compete in the growing space.

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