Level 3 and tw telecom enter into long-term settlement-free peering agreement

Level 3 Communications, Inc., a communications network company, and tw telecom inc., a provider of managed network services, have entered into a long-term settlement-free internet traffic exchange agreement.

The settlement-free agreement, commonly referred to as a peering agreement in the internet industry, allows the two internet service provider networks to exchange data, enabling internet customers on one network to send and receive internet content with customers on the other network.

The Level 3 and tw telecom peering agreement measures both the volume of traffic exchanged and the distance over which that traffic is carried by each network. This approach is called bit-mile peering. In order to keep the relationship equitable, both networks carry approximately the same bit miles of data. This model promotes quality service for customers, while ensuring a balanced cost burden across each network.

The Level 3 - tw telecom peering agreement also contains provisions to add capacity and establish new interconnection locations between the two networks to stay ahead of growing traffic demand. This approach offers flexibility to each network while improving performance and reliability for customers and is based on interconnection principles for non-managed internet traffic. The agreement does not cover the exchange of managed voice traffic.

"Level 3's primary focus is on providing quality service for Internet consumers," said Jack Waters, Level 3's chief technology officer. "We look forward to working with our peering partners to drive broader adoption of this bit-mile model to ensure fair and equitable interconnection. We are also working with providers of traffic-flow monitoring systems to make the measurement process straightforward and consistent across the industry."