File this under pure speculation / rumor at this point. I am going to contact my Level 3 ASAP to confirm. Stay tuned...
Let me add that Level 3 is a public company and I believe as part of SEC rules have to disclose layoffs and I see no such disclosure on their website.
Richard Larris, Senior Manager, Media Relations at Level 3 had the following response:
Thanks for checking with us on this story. As you know, we acquired Global Crossing last year. When two companies come together, there is always some redundancy or duplication of resources and roles. Making adjustments and alignments to the organization is a natural part of the integration process. We have looked across the organization to align our resources to support our global growth opportunities. As a result, we will be making limited reductions in certain areas across the company, but we will also continue to recruit high-performing, quota bearing sales people in all regions to drive revenue growth. Decisions regarding colleagues are always difficult. We have been careful to ensure we are making the right decisions to position the company for growth.
And no, there is no second phase in January.