Nextlink Purchases Pan European Metro and Intercity Fibre Networks

Nextlink Communications has agreed in principle to purchase multiple European metro fibre optic networks, an inter-city Pan European fibre optic network and transatlantic fibre optic capacity for $306 million. The expansion of the network will give the company end-to-end network capabilities in the United States, Canada and throughout much of Europe.

The local components of the Nextlink European network will consist of metro fibre facilities that include several empty fibre optic conduits in London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Brussels, and fibres in Paris. Each empty conduit is currently capable of holding at least 432 fibres using current fibre optic technology. Once complete, Nextlink will own nearly 250 metro route miles and more than 80,000 metro fibre miles in Europe. These local metro networks are expected to be delivered to Nextlink in late 2000 and ready to offer commercial service in the first half of 2001.

A high capacity, IP-centric Nextlink inter-city network of 24 fibres will connect Nextlink ‘s metro European networks. This inter-city fibre network that will total nearly 3,700 route miles and more than 88,000 fibre miles will connect 21 major European cities and includes redundant undersea routes between England and Belgium and ‘dry’ Eurotunnel links between England and France. Additionally, Nextlink will receive one empty conduit throughout the European inter-city fibre network and options to receive certain additional fibres installed in the inter-city network in the future. The inter-city portion of the Nextlink European network is expected to be delivered to Nextlink in late 2000 and be ready to offer commercial service in the first half of 2001.

The Nextlink European network will be complemented by transatlantic capacity connecting Nextlink ‘s European customers to North America. The initial purchase capacity will be 2.5 Gbps of transatlantic transmission capacity that will be expanded to 10 Gbps at the end of 2002. Today, according to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and Telegeography, current transatlantic Internet traffic totals under 14 Gbps.

Once the Nextlink European networks are complete, it will also accelerate Nextlink’s ability to offer virtual private network (VPN) solutions in Europe. Nextlink’s local network facilities will also allow the company to become an early European data local exchange carrier (DLEC). Already, Concentric has been selected by British Telecom and has begun early tests for digital subscriber line (DSL) service in the United Kingdom.

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