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RealTime IT News

KPNQwest Says Thames Crossing Is Complete

Communications company KPNQwest announced Monday that it has completed a 1.2 kilometre crossing under the River Thames, an important link in its pan-European fibre optic network.

Calling it "the longest hole of its kind under the River Thames," KPNQwest drew attention to some of the crossing's exceptional features. Built by a radar-guided drilling machine between Tilbury and Gravesend, it not only contains 96 fibre optic links but is fully 60 metres beneath the river.

By placing the cable at such a depth, KPNQwest claims that the link is very much safer than those employed by other telecoms companies. So many construction projects are being carried out in central London that there is always a danger of cables being damaged if they are too close to the surface.

"Improved European and international communications are of enormous benefit to UK business, education and family life," said Richard Howitt, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England.

"The advanced fibre optic network being completed by KPNQwest will lead British communications into the next millennium," he added.

KPNQwest, a company equally owned by KPN and Qwest, is building a high-capacity fibre optic, IP-based network in Europe. The network already covers 3,500 kilometres and is expected to expand to 13,000 kilometers by its scheduled completion date in 2001.

Services on the new network will include IP-based voice communications; high-speed Internet access; virtual private networks and IP transit services for the wholesale market. The network will link up with Qwest's 29,500 kilometre fibre-optic network in the United States.