Level 3 seeking broadband dollars for “middle mile”
The big dogs – Verizon, AT&T and Comcast – may be turning up their noses at broadband stimulus funds, but Level 3 Communications, for one, has decided it can make use of as much as $15 million of funds coming available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Level 3 proposes to pony up another $5 million of its own to create new access points to the Level 3 network in more than 50 rural markets in six states.
Level 3 would use grant funding and its own capital to deploy new equipment in existing buildings located on the Level 3 network in rural areas. The additional equipment would create middle mile connections to the Level 3 network between major metropolitan markets for more efficient delivery of Internet, voice, data and video services to local or “last mile” providers, including telephone, cable and wireless companies, as well as government and educational institutions.
The addition of middle mile connections to a neutral carrier such as Level 3 offers an alternative to incumbent providers and establishes a platform for future competition, innovation and growth, Level 3 contends.
Direct network access in rural areas also creates economic efficiencies to deliver a greater range of services and network redundancy – often a requirement for the expansion of local businesses.