Carrier Briefs

FRAMINGHAM (07/20/2000) - U.S. and Japanese government trade officials reached an agreement this week on telecommunications interconnection rates, capping four years of talks. The rate cuts, which will be applied retroactively from April 1, 2000, stand to benefit competitive carriers by at least US$2 billion in the next two years, trade representatives say. The deal specifies two sets of reductions in interconnection rates, which are charges that Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) levies on other carriers for use of its lines to reach business and domestic consumers. For carriers that connect to NTT at the regional level, which includes a majority of non-Japanese telecom companies, the two sides agreed on a 50 percent rate reduction over the next two years, with a further reduction of at least 16 percent in the third year.

CoreExpress is buying 23,000 miles of dark fiber from Level 3 Communications Inc. to build its new nationwide fiber-optic backbone. CoreExpress is a St.

Louis startup that plans to offer users secure, guaranteed VPN services over multiple ISP networks. This is the first network infrastructure deal CoreExpress has announced, but it is willing to buy dark fiber from other providers. The terms of the deal were not revealed.

Global Crossing Ltd. announced the sale of its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) for $3.65 billion to Citizens Communications Co. Global Crossing is selling its local telephone business, which was originally known as Rochester Telephone and then Frontier Corp. Global Crossing's ILEC business offers services in 13 states. The service providers also struck a side deal through which Global Crossing will provide long-distance services to Citizens customers.

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