Level 3 Communications, Inc. announced it has launched an enhanced wide area Ethernet data networking service in the U.S. and Europe. The (3)Flex Ethernet service enables customers to migrate to a simplified networking solution, extending the ease of use and cost-effectiveness of transporting data from local area networks (LANs) common in businesses to the wide area networks (WANs) that comprise today’s broadband networks. (3)Flex Ethernet offers customers secure data transmission to and from more than 75 major markets in the U.S. and Europe, more than doubling its previous market availability.

The (3)Flex Ethernet service, which replaces the company’s (3)Packet service, features new capabilities and expanded availability that will enable media and entertainment companies, ISPs, cable operators, enterprises and others to use Ethernet technology to more simply and cost effectively meet their data networking needs. Level 3 will market (3)Flex Ethernet to its service provider customers through its direct sales force, and to enterprise customers primarily through other service providers, system integrators and value-added resellers.

The service provides a platform for converging video, voice and data onto one network, and offers customers the capability to connect multi-node, fully meshed networks. The service also provides guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS) that can be managed as applications require.

(3)Flex Ethernet is based on multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), a technology that allows data packet transmissions via a short, pre-determined switched path across the Level 3 Network. MPLS enforces traffic separation via tunneling at Layer 2, thereby providing the highest level of network security available and while maintaining protocol independence. About Level 3 Communications

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