Level 3 To Acquire TelCove

Communications telecommunications

Pittsburgh-based TelCove, a private company, provides metropolitan and regional Internet access and voice services and runs a network serving 70 U.S. markets. The deal, expected to close in the third quarter, comprises $637 million in Level 3 shares, $445 million in cash and $155.5 million in debt assumption by Level 3.

"The acquisition of TelCove increases our ability to provide end-to-end bandwidth services to our customers," Level 3 CEO James Crowe said in a statement.

After TelCove is integrated into Level 3, plans call for TelCove's metropolitan and regional networks to tie Level 3's backbone directly to traffic aggregation points.

Broomfield, Colo.-based Level 3 made some unwelcome headlines last fall when a dispute with Cogent Networks caused Internet service disruptions to customers.

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Aside from its infrastructure business, Level 3 plays in information services through its Software Spectrum subsidiary, based in Plano, Texas, and in fiber-optic and satellite video delivery through Vyvx.