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NEC to Link Australia to Japan

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Australia-Japan Cable Limited (AJC) has progressed in its plans to build a submarine fibre optic cable to carry data and voice traffic between Japan and Australia. The build will follow a series of cable rollouts contributing to a new "Asia-centric" worldwide network, bypassing the U.S. strangle-hold on international traffic tarrifs.

NEC has been chosen as the major supplier in building the 640 Gbps cable, which AJC claims has greater potential design capacity than any existing cable from Australia and 500 times the existing pacific rim cables connecting Australia to North America and Asia.

Initial construction work has begun, with a cable marine survey on the Japan-Guam leg of the system complete. Overall construction is scheduled to be complete and operational in the third quarter, 2001. AJC has signed a AUS $924.3 million (US $556.7 million) project finance facility with a group of international banks. The company said general syndication would be launched in mid-July.

"In the Northern Hemisphere, the North American, Asian and European continents are linked by a high capacity, low cost, global information highway. Australia has the potential to be directly connected to this information highway via the proposed 10,200 km Australia - Japan," said a company representative, "The cable architecture is planned to ensure that customer demands for voice, high speed data and multimedia service capacity are met at globally competitive prices."



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