KPNQwest: Plug to be pulled within days

KPN can't carry the carrier any longer...

KPN can't carry the carrier any longer...

Dutch telco KPN says it will stop funding its bankrupt offshoot KPNQwest within days, placing Europe's largest data network on the verge of total shutdown. KPN said it has been paying E500,000 (£321,500) per day to keep the long-distance data network running since KPNQwest declared itself bankrupt last Friday. It was originally thought that support for the network would be withdrawn immediately following the bankruptcy announcement, but KPN's money is keeping it afloat - for now. A spokesman for KPN said: "The amount we are paying daily to keep this network running is for the time being only. We are not talking a matter of weeks - we are talking a matter of days." KPN, which holds a 40 per cent stake in KPNQwest, has several large customer contracts tied to the KPNQwest network. It must now find new carriers before the network collapses. KPN's spokesman added: "We will stop paying as soon as possible. Our responsibility is to our customers." A spokesman at KPNQwest confirmed the carrier has the same intention as its parent company: "As soon as our customers find alternative networks we will switch our European network off." He added: "At the moment we are working with our suppliers to ensure services continue and we are letting customers know we are trying to keep the network working long enough to buy them time to transfer to other carriers." KPNQwest, Europe's largest internet traffic carrier, told its customers to seek an alternative network last week when hopes for a quick buy-out proved to be unfounded. Rumours continue to circulate concerning AT&T, but thus far no buyer has been confirmed for the company's assets, including its 25,000km long fibre optic network which connects around 60 cities in 18 European countries.