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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