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360networks into the Ether

[Vancouver, BRITISH COLUMBIA] Continuing along with an aggressive expansion of its global optical mesh network, 360networks has entered into an agreement with Denver, Colorado's Telseon.

The deal gives 360networks access to Telseon's optical Ethernet services in metropolitan areas, allowing the company to offer IP transit, IP transport and related services to customers on the Telseon network.

Additionally, 360networks will provide dark fiber and long-haul capacity to Telseon. According to the announcement, the agreement gives carriers and new economy service providers such as ISPs, storage service providers and content distributors the benefit of secure, end-to-end data services. The companies will test these services in a number of U.S. cities over the next two years.

"By fusing Telseon's expertise in optical Ethernet technologies in the metro with 360networks' extensive optical footprint, we are connecting the first end-to-end gigabit Ethernet network in the U.S., and setting the standard for global data communications," said Mick Seaman, CTO at Telseon. "Customers will now be able to jump onto a scalable network that can transport data along an IP backbone and continue within the metropolitan areas."

Telseon, which offers fast optical network services that are designed to allow service providers to break the bandwidth bottlenecks in metropolitan areas, has branded itself as the only company offering an Ethernet-based platform. Currently, the company services 20 U.S. metropolitan markets.

360networks is aiming to connect over 100 major cities in North America, Asia, Europe and South America with its global optical mesh network. The company has aggressively sought alliances with a number of communications players. Last week, 360 announced a partnership with GiantLoop Network, a company that builds and manages fiber optic networks that collect data. GiantLoop also provides storage networking protocols that span campus, metropolitan and inter-city networks. Under that agreement, 360networks will act as GiantLoop's preferred provider of North American and Transatlantic broadband network services. 360networks also made a minor investment in the company.

But it was last month when 360networks received considerable press, as a result of the deal it struck with Deutsche Telecom. The agreement, which was estimated to be worth $230 million (U.S.), has 360networks providing 2.5 gigabit-per-second wavelengths throughout its North American network to the telecommunications behemoth. Deutsche Telecom will also purchase dark fiber infrastructure, equipment maintenance and other services from 360networks over the next two decades.

In Canada, 360networks' Canadian affiliate lit a fiber optic network that spans from coast to coast last November, connecting 13 major cities across the country, including Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Quebec City and Halifax.