RealTime IT News

Hosting Firm Forms European Pact

Internet infrastructure provider Conxion Corp. and Europe's Versatel Telecom International N.V. Monday struck a joint long-term data deal.

The strategic relationship calls for Conxion to acquire Versatel Internet subsidiary SpeedPort. Conxion also intends to pick-up European network services from the Amsterdam-based telecommunications firm.

On the flip side of the deal Versatel plans to contract for global Internet transit services from Conxion for three years.

The agreement marks the first leg of Conxion's journey into international markets and to expand its managed hosting, connectivity and technical support services worldwide.

SpeedPort is a leading European provider of Internet systems and network management solutions for companies with mission critical Internet operations. SpeedPort targets European and U.S. corporations, Internet service providers and e-commerce enterprises with its brand of managed connectivity and collocation services.

Antonio Salerno, Conxion chairman and chief executive officer, said Versatel is an important fiber provider in Europe with data centers located in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.K.

"This acquisition is a key element of our plan to be one of the four or five players with a global Internet backbone who can offer world-class hosting and network services," Salerno said.

Conxion plans to integrate SpeedPort's five European network and data centers into its nationwide U.S. backbone to create a transatlantic wide area network. When the two firms have blended systems by the end of the year, Conxion will have the added data center capacity to handle 10,000 new European servers.

Salerno said the deal means Conxion is capable of lighting dark fiber on demand across the Atlantic and within Europe.

"This agreement provides us an integrated pan-European network along with SpeedPort's data centers and talented staff and management who really know the terrain for European hosting," Salerno said. "We will accelerate the European market's move away from collocation services by quickly launching Conxion brand managed hosting services."

Raj Raithatha, Versatel chief financial officer, said the long-term partnership with Conxion would permit both companies to grow as they mutually expand services internationally.

"Our agreement with Conxion gives Versatel a strategic partnership with a Tier 1 U.S. IP network and provides us with a major new fiber customer for our international network," Raithatha said.

Conxion's Salerno said its first task would be to host bandwidth-intense download sites for its independent software distributing clients, which include Microsoft Corp., Symantec Corp. and Oracle Corp., which are anxious to distribute software over the Net to European clients.

"Now we will be able to host applications with a low-latency response for our application service provider customers who want to deliver services over the Internet to European companies." Salerno said. "Having a European presence also will open doors to new customers who need access to a global network for managed web hosting services as a step up from standard collocation services."

The agreement with Versatel grants Conxion the rights to OC-48 capacity in Europe, with more capacity available next year. In April 1999, Conxion struck an agreement with Williams Communications Group Inc. to construct its OC-192 U.S. fiber backbone.

Salerno said there are only a handful of n