KPNQwest Network to Reach Spain, Southern France

KPNQwest BV has announced a US$305 million plan to extend its high-capacity optical fiber network to Spain and southern France.

Construction of the route for the 2500-mile fiber ring serving Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid and Bilbao in Spain, and Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyons and Marseille in France, is scheduled to be completed and ready for service by autumn 2001, the company said in a statement.

The company, a joint venture between U.S. carrier Qwest Communications International Inc. and Dutch network operator KPN Telecom BV, already has two fiber rings in service in Europe, and four others under construction. The latest addition will see the number of business centers covered rise from 39 to 46.

The company said it would lay a bundle of 96 fibers and, in case this should prove insufficient, there would be "a spare duct for future upgrades," Henjo Groenewegen, chief operating officer of KPNQwest, said in a statement.

KPN, in the Netherlands, can be reached on the World Wide Web at http://www.kpn.com/. Qwest, in Denver, Colorado, can be reached at +1-303-291-1400 or at http://www.qwest.com.

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