Level 3 chases Canadian market opportunity

Level 3 Communications is recovering from financial and operational problems, as well as a few high-profile executive departures, but the network operator continues to be aggressive with its marketing plans. The company announced this week that it will now offer wholesale high-speed IP services in the Toronto and Montreal markets and expanded transport services into Montreal.

Level 3's Wholesale Markets Group said in a statement that it is responding to growing customer bandwidth demand in Canada. The bandwidth choices of those customers have been somewhat limited in the past by Canadian regulators, who did not allow foreign carriers, such as U.S.-based Level 3, to own domestic network transmission facilities in Canada. Level 3 had cited this rule in a previousl SEC filing as one reason it had not yet entered the Canadian market. A Level 3 spokeswoman told FierceTelecom that the carrier is entering the market now as a reseller.

While the government has not pulled back on the foreign ownership restriction yet, support for raising minimum foreign ownership levels has been growing of late.

Carrier users of wholesale capacity, such as MTS Allstream and MTO Telecom, cheered the announcement of a new competitor entering the market. It will be interesting to see what Canadian wholesale IP carriers have to say about it.

For more:
- see this Level 3 press release

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