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Cable & Wireless Plans $670 Million Network

Cable & Wireless USA Tuesday unveiled plans for a new $670 million high-capacity Internet network that will enable the company to offer a range of integrated Internet, data, voice and messaging solutions.

Construction of the network, which will span 60 U.S. metropolitan areas, is estimated to take two years. It will support transmission speeds of up to OC-192, or 9.6 gigabits per second, and use advanced routing and switching technology.

The network will link the United States with Cable & Wireless PLC's global network, including its Internet backbones in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The network is expected to be completed by 2001, although it will be deployed in phases that will be activated earlier.

Cable & Wireless has purchased 15,000 route miles of dark fiber from Level 3 Communications to help build the network. Cable & Wireless USA will also use Juniper Networks M40 routers and Fore Systems' ForeRunner ASX 4000 ATM switches.

Denny Matteucci, Cable & Wireless USA's chief executive officer, said the investment demonstrates the company's goal to become the top Internet communications provider.

"This investment underscores our commitment to be a customer-focused company by anticipating our customers' needs for the capacity, speed and reliability to manage their mission-critical business operations...," he said.