Cable Operators

Time Warner Cable Extends Network Deal With Level 3

8/13/2012 10:25 AM Eastern

Time Warner Cable signed a multiyear agreement Level 3 Communications, under which Level 3 will expand the MSO's national network, and the companies said they reached an agreement for exchanging Internet traffic between their backbone networks.

Terms of the new agreement between TWC and Level 3, announced Monday, were not disclosed.

For Level 3, the way it exchanges Internet traffic with last-mile broadband providers blew up into a regulatory and public-relations issue in a spat with Comcast two years ago.

Level 3 complained that Comcast began charging interconnection fees after Level 3 won a contract as one of the primary content delivery networks for Netflix and started handing off considerably more traffic to the MSO's network. Level 3 alleged that the FCC's network neutrality rules explicitly forbid Comcast and other residential broadband providers from charging a "toll" to reach consumers; the MSO responded that Level 3 was seeking to avoid paying customary CDN interconnection fees.

Under the TWC-Level 3 deal, Level 3 will provide "additional core infrastructure services" that will enhance the redundancy and reliability of the Time Warner Cable network, the companies said.

"The strength of our network is at the center of all the services we provide our more than 15 million customers and we continue to expand the reach and capacity, as well as improve the reliability of that network to best serve our customers today and in the future," TWC executive vice president and chief technology officer Mike LaJoie said in a statement. "Through these agreements, Level 3 continues to be a valuable partner in the growth of our network's capacity and strength." 

In July 2011, Cox Communications signed a similar deal with Level 3 for high-speed IP and transport services as well as IP traffic exchange.

September