A Network Built to Support the Silicon Economics Cycle
From its beginning, Level 3 Communications was founded on the principles of the Silicon Economicssm cycle: create a global telecommunications network with the scale to reduce unit costs, stimulate demand with these lower costs, support that demand by scaling even more. Level 3 created a network that serves as a foundation for the communications services of the 21st century by providing, among other things, information transmission over a fiber optic network and media delivery over a content delivery network. And we’ve grown to support the end-to-end communications services that businesses and carriers rely on.
Level 3 was originally founded in 1985 as Kiewit Diversified Group Inc. (KDG), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. (PKS). Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc. is a 114-year-old construction, mining, information services and communications company headquartered in Omaha, Neb. KDG was originally created to hold PKS’ non-construction business assets.
In early 1998, KDG announced it was changing its name to Level 3 Communications, Inc., after substantially increasing the emphasis it placed on and the resources devoted to its communications and information services business. On April 1, 1998, Level 3 common stock started trading on the NASDAQ Stock Market under the symbol LVLT.
During 1998, Level 3 raised $14 billion and was called the “best funded start-up in history.” The company constructed 19,600 route miles, and built the world’s first continuously upgradeable network fully optimized for internet protocol (IP). Over the next few years, explosive demand for bandwidth fueled growth in sales. By the end of 2000, Level 3 provided service to 2,700 customers.
Level 3 continued investments in infrastructure to become a world-class communications provider, and won the trust of the world’s most sophisticated communications companies. In addition to ongoing construction, the company expanded its assets with the February 2003 acquisition of Genuity. Over the next few years, and through a major industry downturn, Level 3 pursued a strategy that focused on both the balance sheet and investing for the inevitable industry rebound. Level 3 won the confidence of investors, as the company raised more money than all other NexGen carriers combined; and also of customers, who made Level 3 one of the world’s top three Internet traffic carriers.
Beginning with the late-2005 acquisition of WilTel, Level 3 has established itself as a natural industry consolidator. During 2006, the company went on to acquire Progress Telecom, ICG, TelCove and Looking Glass Networks. In 2007, Level 3 acquired Broadwing, the Content Delivery Network (CDN) services business of SAVVIS, Inc. and Servecast.
Today, Level 3 Communications is one of only six Tier 1 Internet providers in the world. The company ranks as one of world’s most connected Internet Service Providers (ISPs). And expanding assets have solidified the company’s position as one of the largest IP transit networks in North America and Europe.