UPDATE 1-Level 3 asks DOJ, FCC to set terms on Comcast-NBC deal

* Wants Comcast to interconnect with backbone carriers on
fair basis

* Says Comcast should not unfairly charge backbone carriers

(Adds details from letter, background)

Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – Level 3 Communications Inc
asked U.S. antitrust officials to set conditions on Comcast
Corp’s planned acquisition of NBC Universal that
would assure “unfettered access” to all Internet content.

The move represents Level 3’s latest retaliation against a
fee Comcast is charging it for increased network traffic.
Level 3 operates Internet backbone networks but also offers
content delivery network (CDN) services, which enable clients
like Netflix to store and stream movies online.

The sheer rise in Internet traffic has prompted Comcast,
which provides the “last mile” of Internet connection to
consumers’ homes, to demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to
transmit video and other online content to customers.

Level 3 is disputing the fee, and in a letter on Thursday,
asked the Federal Communications Commission and the Department
of Justice to intervene by considering setting conditions on
the Comcast-NBC Universal deal.

Level 3’s suggested conditions include that Comcast should
interconnect with Internet backbone carriers on
“non-discriminatory, fair and reasonable terms,” and that
“Comcast may not utilize its dominant control over access to
its subscribers in order to unfairly charge Internet backbone
carriers for interconnection to its network.”

Last December, Comcast agreed to buy a majority stake in
NBC Universal from General Electric Co to strengthen
its content distribution network.

“While this disagreement with Comcast clearly has broad
Internet implications, the FCC and the Department of Justice
have a unique and timely opportunity to compel Comcast to act
fairly and equitably through the NBC Universal transaction,”
Level 3 Chief Executive James Crowe said in the letter.

Level 3 said it had tried to resolve the matters with
Comcast but that it was apparent “no resolution is possible”.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando in New York and Abhinav Sharma in

UPDATE 1-Level 3 asks DOJ, FCC to set terms on Comcast-NBC deal