Inktomi Inc, the San Mateo-based search engine and caching software supplier, and UK’s incumbent telco, British Telecommunications Plc, said yesterday they had signed a non-binding letter of intent for BT to host Inktomi’s first European search cluster. Under the strategic business alliance, BT will have rights to sales and distribution of Inkotmi’s search services, but Inktomi will set up, own and run the web search facilities on its own servers. Financial details of the agreement were not released, but BT is understood to be taking a share of the incremental revenues gained from service sales. Inktomi currently has search clusters in Santa Clara and Virginia, USA, and set up a search cluster in Japan for telecommunications giant, NTT Corp. Inktomi’s European marketing director, Sarah Law says that the move into Europe is motivated firstly by existing European consumer demand and an expected sharp increase in internet usage due to the advent of free access services, digital TV and the internet portal boom. Inktomi wants to help drive up the internet usage in Europe by providing more local and relevant search services, and to position itself to benefit from this growth, she said. The company’s European search cluster will be operational in summer 1999 and store up to 40 million web pages. European users will be able to do country-specific searches and read documents in their local language through real-time translation facilities.