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Cable Technology Feature Article

December 01, 2010

Level 3 Communications Issues Statement on Comcast's Actions

By Raju Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor

A corporate disagreement has broken out between Comcast and Level 3. Level 3 Communications (News - Alert) issued a statement, which can be attributed to Thomas Stortz, chief legal officer of Level 3. The tussle between the two companies is about the recurring fee, which Comcast (News - Alert) has reportedly demanded from Level 3 to transmit content to Comcast’s customers.

Comcast recently informed Level 3 that the company will demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast’s customers who request such content. Facilitating Comcast to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity delivered content, Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, Level 3 stated.

“Level 3 operates one of several broadband backbone networks, which are part of the Internet and which independent providers of online content use to transmit movies, sports, games and other entertainment to consumers. When a Comcast customer requests such content, for example an online movie or game, Level 3 transmits the content to Comcast for delivery to consumers,” the company stated in a press release.

To ensure customers did not experience any disruption, Level 3 agreed to the terms, under protest after being informed by Comcast that its demand for payment was ‘take it or leave it, the company stated. Level 3 believes Comcast’s current position violates the spirit and letter of the FCC’s (News - Alert) proposed Internet Policy principles and other regulations and statutes, the company stated.

In related news, Level 3 announced that it has extended its relationship with Vixxi Solutions (News - Alert) to support the company's network connectivity to E-911 private and dedicated infrastructures. As a primary provider of E-911 network connectivity for Vixxi, Level 3 supported Vixxi's deployment of FCC compliant nomadic 911 services to Voice over IP (VoIP) service providers. This agreement between the companies calls on Vixxi to leverage Level 3's geographic presence.

Raju Shanbhag is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Raju’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard