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
projects are being carried out in central London that there is always a
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
communications into the next millennium,” he added.
KPNQwest, a company equally owned by KPN and Qwest, is building a
fibre optic, IP-based network in Europe. The network already covers 3,500
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;
Internet access; virtual private networks and IP transit services for the
market. The network will link up with Qwest’s 29,500 kilometre fibre-optic
in the United States.