tw telecom, Level 3 Form Peering Agreement

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Level 3 and tw telecom have entered into a long-term peering agreement that allows the two Internet service providers to exchange data on their networks, enabling Internet customers on one network to send and receive Internet content with customers on the other network.

It's a "bit-mile" peering agreement, which measures both the volume of traffic exchanged and the distance over which that traffic is carried by each network. In order to keep the relationship equitable, both networks carry approximately the same "bit miles" of data. This model is designed to promote efficient, high-quality service for customers, while ensuring a balanced cost burden across each network.

"Level 3's primary focus is on providing quality service for Internet consumers," said Jack Waters, Level 3's chief technology officer. "We look forward to working with our peering partners to drive broader adoption of this bit-mile model to ensure fair and equitable interconnection. We are also working with providers of traffic-flow monitoring systems to make the measurement process straightforward and consistent across the industry."

"tw telecom supports this settlement-free Internet peering approach based on bit-mile balance as a model that assures the most efficient interconnection in the evolving Internet," said Harold Teets, tw telecom senior vice president of network and information technologies. "This agreement will support high-quality service for our respective customers, and will keep the backbone cost burden balanced between our two networks."

The deal also contains provisions to add capacity and establish new interconnection locations between the two networks to stay ahead of growing traffic demand. This approach offers flexibility to each network while improving performance and reliability for customers and is based on efficient interconnection principles for non-managed Internet traffic, the Colorado-based companies said. It does not cover the exchange of managed voice traffic.

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