Colt Technology Services, a global enterprise and dark fiber provider, and Getlink SE, which manages and operates the transportation infrastructure of the Channel Tunnel between England and France, today announced that Colt will install and operate a new dark fiber optic network through the Channel Tunnel (also known as the Eurotunnel).

Channel Tunnel Eurotunnel Location Map

Notably, the Channel Tunnel is a 31-mile (50.5-kilometer) undersea railway tunnel beneath the English Channel, connecting Kent in southeastern England, with Calais in northern France.

Channel Tunnel Undersea Railway Route

Colt Technology Services will install and operate dark fiber throughout the Channel Tunnel, which will ultimately connect to the company’s global fiber network (see below). In turn, this enables the delivery of several terabits per second, per fiber pair of capacity.

Economic Structure

Colt and Getlink have signed a 25-year contract, which will generate a minimum of €185m over the period for Getlink. Notably, more than €61.5m is secured over the initial 5 years of the contract, equivalent to €12.3m annually.

As part of this agreement, Getlink will receive a certain allocation of capacity / fiber pairs for its own internal telecommunications needs. However, the majority of the fiber pairs on the Colt-operated dark fiber network will be available for Colt to lease to third-parties.

Therefore, over time, Colt will lease fiber pairs on this unique network, which will increase the dark fiber’s utilization. To this end, Colt has an “exclusive agreement” and offers full route diversity across the entire Channel Tunnel span.

Legacy Infrastructure

In 1998, dark fiber was previously installed in the Channel Tunnel, with corresponding contracts of 25+ years. As these contracts progressively expire through 2025, Colt Technology Services will take over operation of the legacy dark fiber.

Rationale

Colt Technology Services’ installation of dark fiber will bring reliable, low-latency, and high-bandwidth connectivity to the Channel Tunnel. In turn, this fiber infrastructure will support the increasing demand for bandwidth between the UK and mainland Europe. The key driver of this demand for bandwidth is data traffic growth.

Colt Technology Services – Global Network

Colt Technology Services’ network spans 32 countries, 212 cities, and 51 major metropolitan area networks, throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. The company’s fiber infrastructure comprises 116k route miles (187k route kilometers) and offers capacity of 100 gigabits per second.

Colt Technology Services Global Network
Click here for a larger version of this image.

Further, Colt’s fiber network connects with 29.0k+ on-net buildings. This includes fiber links to 900+ data centers and carrier hotels, incorporating 158+ cloud points-of-presence (PoPs) around the world.

Finally, the company leases capacity from other carriers, through indefeasible right of use (IRU) contracts. Indeed, this ensures Colt has global coverage with its network.

Jonathan Kim covers Fiber for Dgtl Infra, including Zayo Group (private), Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI), Uniti Group (NASDAQ: UNIT), and Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN). Within Fiber, Jonathan focuses on the sub-sectors of wholesale / dark fiber, enterprise fiber, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), and subsea cables.

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