KPNQwest To Start Italian DSL Tests

KPNQwest has positioned itself as
the first competitor to offer residential asynchronous digital subscriber
line service in Italy, signing a provisioning agreement with national
carrier Telecom Italia Wednesday.

The agreement comes after a long delay by Telecom Italia, which will fully
unbundle the local loop in Milan and Turin by January, 2001. Tests using
KPNQwest’s equipment in the telco’s central office
begin Oct. 15 in Milan and Nov. 1 in Turin.

The pan-European company, a joint venture between telecommunications giants
KPN from the Netherlands and
U.S.-based Qwest Communications , is the first to sign with the telco and will most likely be the
first company, outside Telecom Italia, to offer DSL services.

KPNQwest’s entrance comes courtesy of its new ownership of COMM2000, an early DSL provider in
Italy. In fact, it was the second company, after national carrier Telecom
Italia, to publicly announce asynchronous DSL service in Italy last year,
according to Marco Fiorentino, KPNQwest
Italy
country manager.

The service, Fiorentino, said, “was based on the ‘virtual unbundling’ of
the local loop. Now, with 12 months experience in the DSL market and
having secured agreements with Telecom Italia on full unbundling, we are in
an ideal position to launch a highly-competitive commercial offer and
engage in an ambitious roll-out of DSL services across Italy in January, 2001.”

Paul van Doorn, KPNQwest managing director for DSL, said the Italian DSL
service marks an important first step into Southern Europe.

“We believe that this deal is the first major step in expanding our
pan-European DSL footprint into Southern Europe, rapidly expanding both our
roll-out and service offerings to the Italian market,” van Doorn
said.


“Our position in Italy is further strengthened by leveraging our DSL
offer with the EuroRing network and CyberCentres providing the fastest
connections over the copper pair, delivering a suite of Internet services
and bringing tangible benefits to more European businesses.”

The entrance into the DSL market is likely a precursor to the eventual
large-scale presence KPNQwest will maintain throughout Southern Europe. It
is already one of the largest business Internet service providers in
Europe, with operations in 15 countries.

The company has seven planned OC-192 “Euro” rings, which will cover most of
northern, central and southwest Europe by the fall of 2001.

When completed, the rings will connect 20,000 kilometers of fiber-optics
through 50 cities in Europe and the networks in North America and
Asia. Missing from its deployment
map
is Italy, which will change as regulators further promote
telecommunications competition.

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