Internet Backbone Consolidation Continues…


Having atoned for its past sins, Global Double Crossing is back in the growth mode, and says it will buy FiberNet, a metro area network provider for about $96.1 million. It is no different from a recent buying spree by Level 3 Communications. Level 3 is trying to transform itself from a pure vanilla backbone provider to a more metro services company. That’s where the money is for now. Just a quick rundown of what has transpired since the telecom bubble burst in 2001.

New Level 3 = Level 3 + Looking Glass + WilTel Communications + Progress Telecom

New Qwest = Qwest + OnFiber

Verizon = Verizon + MCI

New AT&T = SBC + BellSouth (pending) + AT&T

Tata Telecom =  VSNL + Teleglobe + Tyco

Reliance Communications = Reliance + FLAG Telecom

I am sure I am missing some, so let me know.



Not only consolidation, but expension.

XO is planning to lit up long haul fiber network in early 2007. I think it will be based on Level 3’s dark fibers.

Charlie Kemper

What about the folks down in DC who claim to be the largest Ethernet service provider in the United States and a top five global service provider? Doesn’t Cogent Communications warrant a mention on your list?

Troc ster

can you enumerate as many difference as posible between a plain and simple backbone provider and ‘more metro services’ provider please ?

Om Malik

Onofrio, you guys have not done a good job of outlining your strategy, and e should clearly talk. love to talk more about this. as they say, i am all ears. how do i get in touch? or perhaps you can drop me an email.

of course, the past is part of the present and also the future. i think i am glad the past is behind you, but lets not forget as well.

Onofrio ("Norm") Schillaci

Om, I expected more from your coverage on the latest Global Crossing news on strategy against more recent progress than that of the past.

The old Global Crossing blazed a trail in communications and it was the followers who met with (and continue with ) public scrutiny , like Ebbers at WorldCom and Nacchio at Qwest.

The new Global Crossing set a strategy in motion almost 2 years ago to harvest and invest into identified business lines. Some call this addition by subtraction.

The announcement regarding FiberNet is a reality of Global Crossing’s performance against stated strategies in a high margin enterprise business line which doesn’t necessarily relate to your comparison.

Don’t look at what other providers are doing but look at Global Crossing strategy, performance against strategy and how a move like FiberNet promotes the strategy.

Chris Brainard

I think is pretty lame that the telecoms have merged back together again. I can tell you from personal experience that whenever these companies buy out another the quality just goes right in the toilet. This happened with teleport in Portland Oregon when Earthlink bought them out. This is happening right now with SBC being bought out by AT&T. By the way AT&T was bought by Cingular. Currently if you try to get support on your old SBC internet the tech support that happens to be India can’t offer you any support unless you are dealing with AT&T standard interest services. I was transfered back and forth from DSL to Email and back to DSL trying to deal with email issues.

A good site to check out is:

We need new laws that basically start limiting companies from working globally. They need be limited to the country where they are based. In the US I would limit them to only being able to work within 1 state. If they want to do business in another state they need to work with another company.

I say this because these companies are like a plague that eat up all the resources in an area and move that money and resources to other places and off-shore bank accounts. So the communities around the world are drained rather than being enhanced and improved.

Daniel Golding

Om, Thanks – that handy summary chart just went on my Whiteboard.


Level 3 also obtained Telcove Communications in the eastern part of the U.S. – a big part of its new metro network.

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