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360networks Plans 35 Metro Rings Worldwide

[London, ENGLAND] Global fiber network operator 360networks announced Friday it is lighting networks in 11 European cities and building 24 other metro rings in North and South America and Asia.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, 360networks announced the commitment of a US $700 million credit facility back in October this year to fund its development of a 22,000-kilometer (13,600-mile) submarine cable connecting North America and Asia.

By mid-2002, it expects its network to span 142,000 kilometers (88,000 miles) and link more than 100 major cities. As an adjunct it is also developing nearly 3.7 million square feet of network co-location space.

"Establishing networks in major cities is a critical component of our global strategy," said Greg Maffei, president and chief executive officer of 360networks.

360networks is in the fortunate position of having inherited construction and development expertise from its former parent Ledcor. With the explosive growth of the Internet it has added telecom and technology experience, aiming to capture a big share of the global market for bandwidth.

Friday's announcement reveals the first cities in which 360networks is lighting its metro rings. In Europe they include: London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. The company says it is negotiating with other operators to acquire dark fiber in Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin and Dusseldorf.

360networks also says it will soon be providing service on metro rings in Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary, with others to follow in Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Denver, New Orleans, Sacramento and Albany. It has plans for seven more in Washington, D.C., Detroit, Minneapolis, Portland, Atlanta, Miami and San Diego.

A recent fiber swap with Impsat, provides 360networks with network capacity in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, while in the Far East it has a strategic relationship with SingTel subsidiary C2C, giving it an option on back-haul capacity in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Referring to the latest batch of metro rings, Vice Chairman Ron Stevenson said it was "just the beginning."

"We plan to continuously expand our metro ring footprint. One of the options we are examining is leveraging our use of JETnet technology to install fiber into conduit of existing metro rings," said Stevenson.

Under fairly difficult market conditions 360networks completed an initial public offering of shares in late April this year.