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October 1, 2000

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Business News - Level 3 to Install Corning's New Generation Fiber

Posted: 10/2000

Level 3 to Install Corning’s New Generation Fiber

Level 3 Communications Inc.
(www.level3.com) announced it will deploy Corning Inc.’s
(www.corning.com) new generation of optical fiber throughout its U.S. intercity network.The company pairing significantly increases Level 3’s capacity and cost efficiency, and it gives Corning a chance to show off its fiber, which it says better enables emerging high-speed, long-reach transport systems.Level 3 has pledged to buy more than 2 million cabled fiber kilometers of third-generation large effective area fiber (LEAF) from Corning. It will then install the fiber in the second conduit of its network during the first quarter of 2001. Level 3 announced that it expects the project to take until the end of 2001.Corning Cable Systems, a wholly owned Corning subsidiary, will provide the cable for all of the LEAF required for this next stage of network development.“We are particularly pleased to announce the deployment of a new generation of LEAF fiber in our multiconduit network,” said Kevin O’Hara, Level 3 president and COO, in a prepared statement. “This decision is driven not only by improving technology but by customer demand. Our unique multiconduit network allows both us and our customers to take advantage of ongoing improvements in optical fiber technology. This upgradable network design enables rapid responses to changes in the marketplace and allows Level 3 to deploy new fiber technologies with unprecedented and unequaled speed.”Jack Waters, Level 3 CTO, explained the agreement with Corning underscores a fundamental part of the Level 3 business plan.“Our goal is to maintain a significant cost advantage for bandwidth services,” Waters said. “We will achieve this by installing new generations of fiber at the optimum rate. By continuously adopting new technologies, we can lower the price of bandwidth services.”According to Corning’s executive vice president of optical communications Wendell Weeks, “Level 3 was Corning’s first customer for the earlier generations of LEAF fiber, and [this] announcement further underscores the strong relationship. Level 3 has been an integral part of our growth plan from the beginning, and they will continue to be in the future. Our companies will continue working together on the development and deployment of future fiber technology in order to optimize key network factors such as bit rate, the available number of light wavelengths and the spacing of regeneration electronics in a way that achieves the lowest unit cost.”Alan Eusden, Corning’s vice president and general manager of optical fiber added, “The new generation of LEAF fiber will offer a polarization mode dispersion specification that will be improved by 50 percent over the previous version. The resulting fiber performance will enable Level 3 to significantly increase the transmission distance and data rates of their long-haul network, while reducing the need for [polarization mode dispersion] compensation or signal regeneration.”Level 3 is a global communications and information services company that offers IP-based services including broadband transport, collocation services, submarine transmission services and the industry’s first softswitch-based services. It offers services primarily to web-centric companies that deliver via the Level 3 Network, which will include 56 U.S. markets and 21 international markets.Corning creates leading-edge technologies for the fastest growing markets of the world’s economy. Corning manufactures optical fiber, cable and photonic products for the telecommunications industry, as well as high-performance displays and components for television and other communications-related industries.

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