Exa goes through the Channel Tunnel in deal with Colt
Exa Infrastructure is to build a fibre connection through the England-France rail tunnel.
The project is a collaboration with Colt Technology Services, which in 2021 signed a 25-year lease to operate fibre through the tunnel.
Steve Roberts, VP of network investments at Exa, said: “This is an important industry collaboration to meet the growing digital demand we are seeing across Europe and beyond. The Channel Tunnel forms a key part of Exa’s strategy to provide our clients with a choice of three scalable and fully diverse dark routes between the UK and Europe.”
Exa is the former infrastructure division of GTT, bought by US private equity company I Squared Capital (ISQ) in 2021 for US$2.1 billion.
The tunnel link is additional to capacity on the CrossChannel cable, a subsea link across the English Channel that went into service in December 2021. Exa said in May 2022 that it would take a single fibre pair of that 96 fibre-pair system, which runs 149km from Brighton on the south coast of England to Veules-Les-Roses in northern France.
Exa said the new Channel Tunnel link would give it “a new robust digital ecosystem in the Channel Tunnel linking the growing data centre markets in London and Paris”.
Exa will use 288 fibres of what it called “the latest technology optical cable”, saying that it “will benefit new and existing customers”.
Exa said this morning: “The Channel Tunnel also offers routing flexibility for customers to reach Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt from London.”
Colt signed its deal with Channel Tunnel owner Getlink, the new name for Eurotunnel, after the expiry of the original fibre lease, which was acquired by Global Crossing. That company was bought by Level 3, which in turn was bought by CenturyLink, now renamed Lumen.
Exa said this morning: “This route guarantees resilience and diversity from the traditional routes on the market as well as an increase in capacity and availability across the entire FLAP [Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris] region.”
Andrew Edison, executive VP of sales, marketing and customer success at Colt, said: “We are committed to building powerful connections for our people, customers and partners across the entire digital infrastructure ecosystem.”