France Telecom to launch backbone PoP in Prague

France Telecom (FT—Paris) announced that it will launch a backbone point of presence (PoP) in Prague by the first quarter of next year to respond to demand for telecommunications services from local companies and support strong economic growth in the Czech Republic. The new PoP will provide Czech carriers and Internet service providers (ISPs) with direct access to competitive transit and interconnection services as well as extend the coverage provided to worldwide customers of FT's Open Transit wholesale solutions.

The France Telecom group is not a newcomer to the Czech Republic, already providing services through Equant, provider of data and IP services for multinational businesses. In addition to the PoP in Prague, FT will also open a PoP in Warsaw during next year's first quarter. With these two new customer access points, the company will be well-positioned to satisfy demand for high-capacity transit from competitive carriers and ISPs in Central Europe as broadband and next-generation mobile services take off.

FT also won a contract to provide international IP transit to NTL, the United Kingdom's largest cable operator and broadband provider. Through the deal, FT will connect NTL to its global backbone network via two PoPs, one in London and a new one in Bristol (UK), built specifically to meet NTL's needs.

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