Nextgen Announces $850 Million Bandwidth Boost

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] Nextgen Networks will develop an $850 million (US $531 million) national
optic fibre network of approximately 8400km in length extending from
Brisbane to Perth via Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Nextgen Networks is a business venture between Leighton Contractors
and Macquarie Bank. Lucent Technologies will be the supplier of
technology and services. Nextgen plans to be “Australia’s first true
independent, wholesale high bandwidth network owner and operator.” Lucent
Technologies will provide optic fibre technology as well as operations and
maintenance support once the network has been completed. Bandwidth services
will be marketed to domestic and international telecommunications carriers,
ISPs, major corporates and government users.

The project will be financed by debt and equity. Project debt has
been underwritten by Deutsche Bank and Macquarie Bank will place equity with
local and overseas institutions.

Nextgen Networks expects to create more than 1000 new jobs in the design and
construction period and 250 jobs in the operating phase.

Nextgen said it would work closely with state and local governments and
community groups to manage environmental and access issues through the
development of the network.

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