Level (3) is buying ICG. This is the latest in a series of acquisitions that seems likely to continue. I previously wrote about the mergers going on among the largest 4 carriers and this is just a continuation of that story.
ICG is ICG NetAhead, Inc. AS 2551. They’re pretty small, as far as IP providers go, with almost all of their network assets in Colorado, Level (3)’s home turf, and a smidgen in North Carolina and Ohio.
Right now, ICG is primarily a Qwest (AS209) customer for the majority of their inbound bandwidth, but they have a smaller amount of traffic to Level (3) (AS3356) already. So (3) is the winner here and Qwest the loser, assuming that the acquisition completes and the network is integrated.
It will be interesting to see who Level (3) buys next. They clearly have an appetite for several more companies and the article refers to them as conserving cash on this acquisition.
Level (3) is reasonably good at integrating the networks that they buy, although they are not terribly fast. The illustrious AS1 took almost three years to completely integrate into AS3356. Now AS1 only appears in the public routing tables as a misbehavior on the part of St. Petersburg State University in Russia (who is prepending AS1 in front of its announcements of AS5495 for about 13 prefixes). How the mighty ASes have fallen.