Suzanna Kerridge, Paris correspondentIn an attempt to further its European coverage, Cable & Wireless has taken a controlling stake in Brussels-based IP carrier Ipergy. The newly formed company, 49 per cent owned by French IP carriers ISDNet and Softway, will offer high-speed Internet connections to ISPs, content providers and ASPs in major European cities such as Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Paris. Jean-Luc Nahon, Ipergy CEO, said the venture will spend $100m over the next 18 months to expand its infrastructure in Europe by linking Ipergy's IP fibre backbone with Cable & Wireless' existing network. He claimed users of the service will have access to 20,000 sq. metres of secured access, co-location and transit services, satellite connectivity, telephone Internet access and interconnection with local loop operators. Data will be carried over Ipergy's 2.5gbps Internet backbone. Services branded IP-Voice and IP-Cast for multimedia Netcasting will be available soon, added Nahon. To further develop services, Ipergy will open an R&D centre in the South of France.