Cable & Wireless Optus today signed a ten year deal with Reef Networks to extend its national fibre optic cable backbone from Brisbane to Cairns.
The agreement is expected to generate in excess of $200 million in revenue from corporate customers and the Queensland Government.
The new network will provide Cable & Wireless Optus with 2.5 Gbit/s of capacity between Brisbane and Cairns, and will be connected to the carrier’s existing fibre backbone that links Brisbane to Perth, via Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Chris Anderson, Chief Executive of Cable & Wireless Optus, said the transmission capacity agreement with Reef Networks – an associate company of Leighton Contractors – would allow Cable & Wireless Optus to bring real communications competition to Northern Queensland.
“This is the first time Queenslanders will have access to a competitive fibre optic link, capable of delivering advanced voice, data and entertainment services beyond the south-east corner of the State,” said Mr Anderson.
The 1,820km fibre link will pass through a number of regional centres, including Caloundra, Maroochydore, Maryborough, Bundaberg, Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. This will initially add another 9 points-of-presence to the Optus network and provide access to an additional 614,000 potential customers.
The fibre link is expected to deliver new revenue growth as the company will be able to offer more competitive services to Queensland Government agencies, regional corporates, small and medium sized enterprises.
As a direct result of the new fibre link, Cable & Wireless Optus has signed an agreement with the Queensland Government which will see the company’s opportunity to grow its share of the State’s communications spend increase substantially over the next 5 years.
The new network will also allow Cable & Wireless Optus to offer more competitive wholesale transmission capacity to other carriers and reduce its dependence on Telstra’s leased lines by 30 per cent.
Construction is due to begin in early 2000 and is expected to be completed by April 2001.
The network is to be constructed and maintained by Leighton Contractors’ subsidiary Visionstream Pty Ltd and will be largely located in the Queensland rail corridor running from Brisbane to Cairns.
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