Upon the FCC’s release of a report on rural broadband access (story here), Level 3 Communications commented on the issue of “middle mile access” referred to in the report. Level 3 announced it is actively working to enable local and regional telecommunications providers to expand rural broadband access under the federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program.

With more than 42,000 inter-city route miles across North America, the Level 3 network travels through many of the unserved and underserved communities targeted for improved broadband access.

The addition of middle-mile networks establishes a competitively neutral platform for future innovation and network growth. As middle-mile networks reach deeper into rural areas, local wireless, cable and phone operators are poised to expand operations by entering new markets and offering a greater range of services to support local governments, hospitals, schools and businesses.

"Level 3 is focused on middle-mile network connections that leverage the expansive reach of our network across the country, particularly in rural areas," said Sureel Choksi, chief marketing officer for Level 3. "Solving the middle-mile problem is equally important as addressing last-mile issues to pave the way for ubiquitous rural broadband availability."

Level 3 offered a comment from Matt Davis, a Telecom Director at IDC. Davis said: "Improving the U.S. broadband addressable market will require more than broadband access infrastructure. Backhauling broadband traffic generated by new subscribers from previously unserved areas will require an expansive network footprint. Level 3's ability to support middle-mile connections into rural markets provides an important element that is critical to the overall success of the broadband deployment plan."

More Broadband Direct 05/28/09:
•  CED now free to SCTE members
•  Comcast set to launch TiVo service in Chi-Town
•  FCC adjusts focus on U.S. broadband policy
•  Home networking standard advances, gains BT's backing
•  This Tech, Sigma Systems ally on ad system
•  Verizon intros Service Commitment in Fla.
•  Level 3 backs FCC report
•  From giant to dwarf: Nortel preps for divestures, liquidations
•  AT&T upgrades network, claims readiness all along
•  Time Warner to spin off AOL, ending ill-fated deal
•  Yahoo open to Microsoft deal under right terms
•  Broadband Briefs for 05/28/09