VersaPoint Moves on DSL in the U.K. and France

[London, ENGLAND] European broadband provider VersaPoint announced
Wednesday its intention to offer digital subscriber line (DSL) services in
the U.K. and France, following deals with BT and France Telecom.

In the U.K., VersaPoint will use BT’s unbundled local loops for
its DSL service, having secured colocation space for its equipment in
BT exchanges. It will target London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester,
East Midlands, North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Bristol, South Wales,
Glasgow, Edinburgh, the North East region and Belfast.

In France, VersaPoint has secured a license that allows it to
trial a DSL service in Paris using France Telecom’s unbundled
local loops. The trial will take place before the end of the
year.

Based in the Netherlands, VersaPoint is the result of a
partnership between Versatel Telecom and California-based
NorthPoint Communications in March 2000. It is in the process
of building a pan-European DSL network, adding to its existing
network in the Netherlands and Germany.

Erik Ceuppens, vice president of business development for VersaPoint,
claimed that progress in the U.K. and France was putting his company
on the fast-track to becoming what he called “the clear leader in
pan-European DSL.”

“We are moving aggressively to extend and expand our broadband
network to reach additional European countries as quickly as
possible,” said Ceuppens.

The speed of VersaPoint’s roll-out of DSL services in Europe
is restricted not only by regulatory conditions but also by
the actual speed at which telcos unbundle their local loops.
In the U.K., BT has been accused of dragging its corporate
feet over this issue, an accusation denied by regulatory
body OFTEL earlier in the week.

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