Cablevision Ties Into Level 3

Cablevision Systems will use Level 3 Communications network services to support its fast-growing Optimum Online cable modem service in the New York metropolitan area.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Reliable network performance is a key factor contributing to the quality of service that Optimum Online customers have come to expect,” said Gemma Toner, an Optimum Online vice president. “(The Level 3 deal) will contribute to achieving this key objective.”

Based in Bethpage, New York and launched in 1997, Cablevision’s Optimum Online serves 680,000 customers in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. It reports that 5,300 new users subscribe to the always-on broadband service each week.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 operates a 10-gigabit Internet protocol backbone that spans 56 North American markets and 16 European markets and is accessible from more than 500 traffic aggregation points.

In addition, it boasts scalable interconnection capacity with every major IP backbone provider, ensuring uncongested connectivity to the Internet. The company’s network assets will expand when its $240 million purchase of Woburn, Mass.-based Genuity is completed.

“This kind of rich connectivity is critical to all cable providers,” said Andrew Crouch, a Level 3 vice president.

Level 3 also counts Cox Communications, another cable player, as a customer for a number of services.

Most industry estimates peg the number of cable modems in the United States at about 15 million and service providers such as AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications and Comcast reported a surge in demand during the third quarter.

Another statistic that augers well for cable connection industry is the uptick in cable modem shipments to manufacturers. More than 3 million units were shipped during the third quarter, a 19.4 percent jump from the same period last year, according to Gartner Dataquest.

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