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Digital Realty unit ups fibre play to boost trade between UK, EU

London is turned into a city-wide connected hub with Paris and the British capital set to be linked by the end of the year, in a boost to the two alpha cities’ financial markets.

By João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

4 Mins

July 05, 2021 | 9:43 AM BST

Digital Realty unit ups fibre play to boost trade between UK, EU

Aerial view of the Interxion Paris Digital Park development. Source: Interxion/DLR

As the UK and mainland Europe see the results of the mass COVID-19 vaccination drive across both sides of the English Channel, digital infrastructure businesses are gearing up their assets to serve a more connected economy.

To that extent, colocation hosting brand Interxion has invested US$1.5 million in fibre deployments across London and it has also become a strategic partner of the upcoming CrossChannel Fibre System that will connect Paris and London later this year.

First, in the British capital, the Digital Realty (NYSE: DLR) unit’s capital expenditure saw the laying of a 68 mile-long fibre cable connecting all of its data centres in East London with a location in West London, creating what the company bills as the “largest and most highly connected data hub” in the UK.

Interxion has 17 facilities in and around London, however, the investment only covers the sites located in the City of London and the Docklands areas where London’s two financial centres are located as well as West Drayton just by Heathrow Airport, in the west part of the capital.

Commenting on the news, UK minister for media and data John Whittingdale, said: “We want the UK to be the world’s number one data destination, so it’s great to see Interxion investing in our data infrastructure to give our tech sector a further boost to grow, create jobs and help power our recovery out of the pandemic.

“Data is the driving force of modern economies, and, through our National Data Strategy, we are building a data economy that works for everyone and builds public trust in data use.”

Over in France, Interxion has been chosen by subsea cable company Crosslake Fibre to enable direct interconnection from Interxion’s Paris Campus to the CrossChannel Fibre System, which is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.

Interxion’s Paris campus counts seven data centres and is currently undergoing major expansion with the construction of the Interxion Paris Digital Park.

The site will provide a landing point for subsea cables, such as the CrossChannel Fibre System, easing trade between the UK and mainland Europe.

The CrossChannel Fibre System is the first new subsea cable to be built across the English Channel in nearly twenty years.

Fergus Innes, Senior Vice President at Crosslake Fibre, said: “Interxion’s Paris data centres are home to a thriving community of networks, enterprises, content providers, as well as financial, gaming, and media companies that will all benefit from the CrossChannel Fibre System’s diverse routing, high capacity and low latency.”

Mike Hollands, senior director, market development at Digital Realty, added: “The CrossChannel Fibre System will provide the shortest path between Paris and the UK, a critical benefit for our latency-sensitive customers. In addition, the system follows a new, physically separate route from Paris to the UK, enabling our customers to enhance the resilience of their networks and efficiently overcome data gravity challenges.”

London and Paris are one of the world’s most interconnected city pairings, according to the Data Gravity Index DGx which measures the creation, aggregation and private exchange of enterprise data across 53 global metros.

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João Marques Lima

Founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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