HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c790W
Mr. Allan

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received concerning the financial situation at KPNQwest and the possible shutdown of its Ebone network; what effect she estimates this may have on internet users; and if she will make a statement. [64321]

Mr. Timms

I have not received any representations regarding the possible shutdown of KPNQwest's network, although officials in the Department and at Oftel are watching developments closely.

Some UK ISPs and websites may use KPNQwest for their connection to the internet. Loss of KPNQwest would not necessarily mean complete loss of internet access as major ISPs are likely to have more than one supplier of internet connectivity. It is possible however that access to some websites would be slowed down until traffic were fully rerouted via other networks.

There is a competitive market for internet connectivity, meaning that ISPs and websites should be able readily to obtain internet connectivity from other suppliers, if they have not already done so, since they were advised by KPNQwest to make contingency arrangements on 30 May.

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