Insomnia (insomnia) wrote,

A shadow falls over Europe...

KPNQwest, the telecoms provider that handles a quarter of Europe's IP traffic, has filed for bankruptcy and is on the brink of shutdown. A last minute attempt to sell its assets to AT&T for $200M has failed, and millions of Europeans are on the verge of losing their connectivity. Meanwhile, the Dutch national carrier KPN is left paying the bills for keeping KPNQwest running... problem is, they are under no legal obligation to do so, and presumably have a duty to their investors to make (i.e. not lose) money.

This is a mirror of what we've seen happen with DSL providers like Northpoint and Rhythms. It's sad to see that there still isn't any kind of solution to pick up the pieces when these companies go under. The Internet is becoming an increasingly more necessary utility, but access to it is predicated upon actually having companies that are both willing to bring it to you and capable of staying in business. Meanwhile, consumers get stuck with a few days notice to see that they stay on the network, when the process of actually getting on the network can take weeks, if not months.

Good thing that people don't depend on the Internet for their livelihood or anything...

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