Eurotunnel is seeking a partner for its #9 million Eurotunnel Telecoms subsidiary to build its burgeoning commercial telecoms business.
It confirmed yesterday that it is talking with a number of US operators to establish a joint venture or allow a partner to take an equity stake in Eurotunnel Telecoms.
The company also said it is in discussions with large American and European operators on new cable developments, which should result in at least three other cables this year.
"The Channel Tunnel is the natural choice for cross-Channel transport for passengers and freight between the UK and France. In the 21st century, it will become the natural choice for telecommunications between continental Europe and the UK to North America," said Alain Bertrand, managing director of Eurotunnel Telecoms.
The London to Paris communications services constitute 70 per cent of Eurotunnel Telecoms' turnover, which has trebled since 1997, and the remaining 30 per cent comes from providing the telecoms infrastructure through Eurotunnel's own fibre optic cables and by laying new cables to be used by other operators.
It became an international telecoms operator at the end of 1996 and a high speed, 40Gbps telecoms network between London and Paris has been operational since 2 April 1999. Twenty operators and companies are using Eurotunnel Telecoms' services at present, and a new cable supporting BT's recently announced pan European network was installed in March 1999.
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