Level 3: Comcast fight not about traffic peering

Level 3 Communications' (Nasdaq: LVLT) fight with Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is about more than traffic peering--despite what Comcast says. It's all about local access and Comcast's control of same, a Level 3 executive said in the latest of a series of he said--he saids between the two service providers.

Comcast claims Level 3 is being treated the same as any other carrier that has more traffic to offload than Comcast has to onload. Wrong, fired back Level 3 President-COO Jeff Storey; this is about Comcast charging more for additional local traffic because Level 3 is bringing Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) to Comcast subscribers.

"If I were handing off traffic to Comcast in New York and expecting them to deliver it in San Diego I would expect to pay for that," Storey said during a presentation at the 38th Annual UBS Global Media and Communications conference. "We carry Netflix or other traffic deep into the Comcast network and we hand it off to them generally at the last point we can."

That's where, Level 3 contends, Comcast is trying to erect a traffic "tool booth" to collect payment for the traffic.

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