Comcast Signs Level 3 Pact

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Comcast Corp. signed a multiyear agreement with Level 3 Communications Inc. for intercity and metro dark fiber across the country in a deal valued at $100 million.

The companies said the backbone is based on 20-year dark-fiber indefeasible rights of use from Level 3 and other sources. The deal covers 19,000 route miles, which includes 95% of Comcast's nationwide footprint.

The companies pegged the initial cost of the network -- including fiber capacity, routing and optical equipment -- at $100 million.

"This agreement with Level 3 will further enhance our ability to deliver new and innovative services such as VOD [video-on-demand], HDTV, DVR [digital-video recorders], high-speed Internet access and advanced voice services," Comcast chief technology officer David Fellows said in a release.

The backbone will carry multiple wavelengths, each with a capacity of 40 gigabits per second, provisioned in 10-GB wavelengths. Each of those wavelengths could carry 3,000 video channels.

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