Sprint Taps Level 3 for Fiber

Looking to reduce transport costs, voice and data carrier Sprint will buy fiber services in the Detroit area from bandwidth wholesaler Level 3 Communications .

Financial terms of the contract between the Overland Park, Kan., and Broomfield, Colo., companies were not disclosed.

Level 3’s network connects key traffic aggregation points in the Detroit market, including central offices and voice switching sites. Once activated, Sprint can hand traffic directly to local phone companies, without leasing expensive access circuits at retail rates.

It should help Sprint make progress toward its goal of cutting $1 billion off its annual operating budget. Other steps include trimming management ranks and outsourcing non-core tasks.

A Sprint spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.

This deal also represents Sprint’s initiative to extend its infrastructure into metropolitan areas. Sprint plans to bring its fiber-optic network deeper into the metro areas of more than 30 U.S. cities before mid-2004.

In other Sprint news today, the company said it completed a implementation of voice and data communications services to more than 6,500 Dollar General stores across 27 states.

Sprint is providing long-distance voice services, virtual private network, interactive voice response (IVR), frame relay and Internet Protocol services to the retail chain.

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