VersaPoint Launches German DSL Services

[London, ENGLAND] Pan-European DSL service provider
VersaPoint announced
Thursday the launch of broadband services in Germany.

Based in the Netherlands, Versapoint was formed earlier
this year by Californian company NorthPoint Communications
and Holland’s Versatel Telecom N.V. In June it launched the
first phase of a highly ambitious scheme to build Europe’s
largest broadband network, offering services in major cities
in Holland.

Michael Malaga, chief executive officer of VersaPoint, said
the launch of the German service was a milestone for broadband
competition in Europe.

“The telecom experience and assets we have inherited from
Versatel and NorthPoint, along with the pan-European scope
of our network, distinguishes VersaPoint as the premier
broadband provider in Germany,” claimed Malaga.

Within a year, VersaPoint believes it will be able to offer
a broadband service to nearly 50 percent of German businesses.
It already covers the North Rhine Westfalia region via Internet
service provider Versatel Germany, while early in 2001 it will
serve Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart.

DSL broadband enables Internet connections at speeds up to
1.5 Mbps. The VersaPoint service means that ISPs in both the
Netherlands and Germany will be able to connect with a single
communications provider for DSL services.

As one of the fastest growing broadband service providers
in the United States, NorthPoint has plenty of experience in
the rapid roll-out of DSL networks. It recently announced plans
to merge its business with Verizon’s DSL operations.

With Europe’s largest telcos entering the arena, competition
in the broadband market is likely to become intense in the
next two or three years. Some analysts have already predicted
difficulties for smaller operators who may currently be big
in broadband but are small in comparison to the giant telcos.

“Always-on” high speed Internet access remains largely a
dream for consumers in the U.K., where many major operators
have recently withdrawn services, citing unsustainable costs
as the main reason.

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