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Virgin Trains signs £4.4m deal for new network

Virgin Trains has signed a five-year £4.4m deal with Global Crossing for provision of networks to support the rail company's...

Virgin Trains has signed a five-year £4.4m deal with Global Crossing for provision of networks to support the rail company's plans for expansion and Internet-based operations.

Despite the current climate of uncertainty surrounding Internet service providers in the wake of the KPNQwest collapse, Virgin has not backed the deal up with a second sourcing arrangement. Virgin is confident about the arrangement, even though Global Crossing's US parent company is currently in bankruptcy protection.

Explaining the company's decision, Jeremy Acklam, Virgin Trains' head of IT, said, "We did risk assessment. Global Crossing's UK network is of such value that there have been more than 50 expressions of interest in its purchase, so we believe there is no risk to continuity."

Global Crossing will manage voice and data services to 60 Virgin Trains locations and voice connections to 1,500 phones.

The network has been expanded to support Virgin's Internet ticketing service and call centres. It will also support its roll-out of ticket pick-up kiosks at stations.

"Without network expansion it is difficult to expand the business these days," said Acklam.

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