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KPNQwest Continues European DSL Expansion

KPNQwest continued its European expansion Wednesday when it secured local loop agreements for digital subscriber line services in the Netherlands.

The region is the second European market in which KPNQwest fired-up one of its 13 "EuroRings" being built by the hybrid firm. KPNQuest launched DSL services to Germany in June, about a month in advance of its original deployment schedule.

When the European network is complete, it will like than 22,000 miles of fiber and function as a high-speed relay between American and Asian markets.

The Netherlands is part of KPNQwest's fifth European DSL networks and will allow Denmark and Norway to tap into its fiber-based backbone. When completed, the network will connect cities including Oslo, Copenhagen and Helsinki, to the KPNQwest German network.

Paul van Doorn, KPNQwest managing director, said the agreements signed with TeleDanmark and Telenor further accelerated its European deployment schedule and put a lock on the Nordic DSL market.

"With a similar framework in place for Sweden and a successful launch underway in Finland, this is a major milestone as we are the only pan-European operator poised to secure complete coverage of the Nordic market," van Doorn said.

The company has been signing agreements with telecommunications companies throughout Europe as regional regulators enforce local deregulation policies.

Consumer demand for high-speed Internet services in Europe is at an all-time high, according to results published by Frost & Sullivan.

The international marketing consulting company forecasts that the European asymmetrical digital subscriber line market is expected to grow at a 63 percent growth rate annually. Frost & Sullivan research indicates that DSL expansion in Europe is based on consumer demand for high-speed services.

KPNQwest was formed in April 1999, as a joint venture between Dutch telecommunications company KPN and U.S.-based Qwest Communications Inc. .

In addition to its DSL network buildout, the company is also continuing to construct a dozen data storage facilities throughout Europe.

KPNQwest has plans to build another 18 data centers as part of a 10-year strategic alliance the firm struck with IBM Corp. in April. As a result of the agreement, IBM owns 25 percent of each data center's floor space and bandwidth.