Level 3 Adds MSN as a Customer

Broadband networking provider Level 3 Communications said it has signed a new three-year agreement with Microsoft Corp., where Level 3 will provide its (3)CrossRoads Internet access service in North America for six properties in the MSN network of Internet services, including MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger.

The pact makes Level 3 one of the “primary providers” of MSN broadband services, company officials said in a statement. Financial details behind the deal were not immediately available.

Under terms of the deal, MSN will route “significant traffic” to the Level 3 network for global delivery, beginning with an initial service target of three gigabits per second of Level 3’s backbone capacity. These 3 gigabits represent a large portion of the combined 10 gigabits of total MSN traffic, and MSN will have the option to use Level 3 for that entire amount in the future if it chooses. A gigabit — equivalent to one billion bits — represents the amount of information transmitted in one second.

On Monday, Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 announced it had signed a pact to provide its (3)CrossRoads Internet access service to EarthLink in North America.

Financial details were not available for that deal either, and Level 3 made the similar claim that this pact makes makes it one of EarthLink’s “primary providers of IP services.”

(3)CrossRoads is a fiber-based, global Internet access service designed to provide communications-intensive companies with broadband services. Engineered for maximum flexibility and scalability, (3)CrossRoads provides global connectivity from a variety of locations around the world, including 46 Level 3 data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia, at port speeds up to one gigabit per second, officials said.

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