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US telecomms giant homes in on UK ISP

INS is target for Level 3 Web expansion

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Reports in yesterday’s Mail On Sunday claim Internet Network Services (INS) - one of the UK’s largest service providers - is the target of a takeover bid by Level 3. Level 3 is a US telecomms company, which is said to have £4 billion set aside with which it can go shopping. It has been around for only a year and has already upset the telecomms apple cart with an extensive price cutting regime. The report valued INS at around £130 million. The UK company was set up in 1995 and has offices in London, Manchester and Coventry. It claims to be the third largest UK ISP, according to the volume of its traffic transmitted across the London Internet Exchange. It is privately owned and backed by Baring Communications Equity and Spectrum Equity Investors, among others. It provides Web access and hosting services to large corporate companies, including Barclays and Reuters. The Mail On Sunday said Level 3 was planning to cut the cost of Web access calls by around 60 per cent. In January this year, INS bought another UK ISP, Wisper, taking some of the assets ad contracts of the outfit. No one from INS was available to comment at press time. ®

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