Global Telesystems Group (GTS) has detailed plans to lay high bandwidth city enterprise networks (CENs) around 14 European cities, including London.
The networks will be an extension of the company's existing fibre optic backbones between several major cities in Europe. Eight of the CENs are expected to be completed by 2000, with the rest being installed the following year.
In phase I of the project, the CEN rings in western Europe will connect customers at speeds of 2.5Gbps, increasing to 10Gbps by the end of 2000. Each ring will connect to the major points on the GTS backbone, including IP nodes, SDH and dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) interconnection points and central office switches.
Initial rings will also connect to other local facilities such as Internet exchanges and telehouses where a significant amount of Internet traffic is aggregated.
In phase 2 of the build-out, additional fibre 'sub-rings' will be added to the core to extend geographic reach.
GTS spokesman Glen Manoff said the networks will cost "hundreds of millions" in euros to build, but couldn't give the exact cost of the investment.
"We have around a billion [euros] stockpiled in cash, and we have just completed a deal to get 500 million euros in a high yield debt offering which has been earmarked for driving the business forward. These networks are a key driver," he said.
GTS will connect businesses in the targeted cities either by leasing a line from a third party or laying the fibre to their door. The final route of the network in each city has yet to be decided.
"We know we have the licence for London, but we don't have exact details on where, when and which partners we will use yet," said Manoff.
However, he did say that the services would be available for "a significant amount less than from companies who have had to lease" from other operators, such as Colt and BT, he said.
CENs in Frankfurt, London, Vienna, Amsterdam, Madrid and Stockhom are all expected to be ready for commercial launch by mid 2000. The other eight cities to be fibred haven't yet been named.
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