Level 3 Communications said it launched an ultra-low-latency optical fiber route between London and Frankfurt.

The new route will lower trading speeds between those two cities and also allow banks, hedge funds, brokers and other financial services institutions to execute trades faster with exchanges in Zurich, Milan, New York and Chicago that are also connected to the Level 3 network.  

The company said it supports nine of the top 10 investment banks in North America, as well as nine of the top 10 banks and four out of the five top financial exchanges in the world.

"Having access to fast network speeds can be a significant competitive advantage for the financial services industry, but it's an even bigger advantage to have access to a fast network that keeps getting faster," said James Heard, president of European Markets at Level 3. "

The London-to-Frankfurt route will be offered with "a stringent latency service level agreement as well as end-to-end management,'' the company said.

The Level 3 network today spans more than 20 countries and reaches approximately 190 markets in Europe and North America. Level 3 manages 57,000 intercity fiber miles and 27,000 metro fiber miles.