GTE Internetworking, the IP services business unit of US telecoms giant GTE Corp, is at the IS99 show this week in Amsterdam, telling European internet service providers (ISPs) that it is open to offers of strategic alliance. The company spent over four decades as BBN Corp prior to its 1997 acquisition by GTE, and was instrumental in the development of the internet through its involvement in predecessor Arpanet and the TCP/IP protocol. Since becoming a GTE unit, it has also been enhanced with a 17,000-mile dark fiber network in the US. This enables it to offer everything from the backbone for IP traffic, to value-added services such as web hosting, network security products, Fax-over-IP and both systems integration and applications development for intra- and extranets. Now the unit is expanding into other geographical areas, with its European beachhead being three what it calls æSuperPoPsÆ in the London, Amsterdam and Milan, with a fourth, in Frankfurt, due online by mid-year. It also has 310-megabit AC1 cables running from New York to London, then on to Amsterdam and Frankfurt, then back to Washington. There will also be a proprietary dark fiber link to the Milan PoP and the others to be built in future, to be located in major markets such as France and Switzerland, explained GTE InternetworkingÆs vice-president for indirect channels, Peter Sundquist. Before such proprietary fiber is laid, however, the company rents capacity on other carriers, such as Hermes, Equant and Infonet, so as not to hold up development of its market. The idea, Sundquist explained, is to strike alliances with major ISPs in each country in which it has a PoP, bringing its US presence and expertise in enhanced IP services to the table, while the local player brings its market presence and brand recognition to the deal. He said the local partner will also have the choice of co-branding its offerings with GTE Internetworking. Sundquist said the company expects to be able to announce the first such alliances next month.