Level 3 To Expand Ethernet Footprint

Level 3 Communications Inc. (LVLT) announced Tuesday it has expanded the number of Ethernet switches on its U.S. network by adding 47 midtier switches to its existing 18 core switches. Another 18 midtier switches will be added by summer, according to company spokesman Vince Hancock.

“Basically, we’ve changed our architecture by introducing this new tier of switches,” Hancock said, noting that the new switch deployment makes the carrier’s Ethernet services delivery more efficient.

By expanding the switching footprint, Level 3 is eliminating the need for backhaul of switched metro Ethernet applications. For enterprises, Hancock said this means better performance (lower latency, less jitter, etc.) and better overall cost points. As an example, he said, previously there were costs associated with carrying traffic to the closest switching center; these costs will be reduced or eliminated.

Level 3 offers Ethernet in 145 markets in the United States. Each of the new midtier switches was deployed in a major metro, such as Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Level 3 also will make feature enhancements that will expand the company’s Carrier Ethernet services portfolio. Hancock explained these technical enhancements will improve the transparency of the services as well as increase the configuration options.

Hancock declined to disclose the vendor of the gear.

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