RealTime IT News

C&W Splurges $1 Billion on European ISPs, IP Build

Aiming to capture the European business IP market, Cable and Wireless PLC Thursday rounded up eight ISPs in Europe and announced plans to spend £300 million ($500 million) on an IP network build in the region.

The new purchases bring the amount that the company has spent on Europe-based business ISPs to a grand total of £300 million ($500 million). Cable & Wireless had already set aside £600 million ($1 billion) for the creation of a data and IP network in Europe, and the new $500 million addition is meant to expand the coverage of the network in construction.

Cable & Wireless' end goal is to connect 200 cities in the region, with initial rollout to 18 primary cities by April and full connection to all 200 targets by 2002. By that date, the company also expects to have added the points of presence (POPs) for all the recently acquired ISPs, and to have completed the additional build.

The eight new additions are Austria's Xpoint, Belgium's Ghent, ISDnet in France, Italian ISPs UNIDATA and DSLogic-DSNet, Spain's grupo INTERCOM, and Switzerland's agri.ch and Petrel Communications. Cable & Wireless had already plucked business ISPs in German, Sweden and the U.K. last year in the form of ECRC, pi.se, and INS, respectively.

Graham Wallace, Chief Executive of Cable and Wireless PLC, said that the two-prong initiative represents a major step in its plan to take on the business IP market, and said the European business IP sector is estimated to be worth $29 billion by the time the new infrastructure is fully operational.

"We are already in the top three companies in the world in the business IP market," Wallace said. "The scale and capacity of Cable & Wireless' IP network in Europe, directly connected to the IP network in the U.S., Japan and Far East will allow us to provide the high-performance, secure IP platform which European businesses will require in the 21st century."

The company also said it now has licenses to operate in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the U.K.