CWO extends its national backbone

Cable & Wireless Optus is hoping to generate more than $200 million in revenues from new customers as a result of the extension of the company's national fibre optic network in Northern Queensland.

The telco yesterday signed a 10-year, multi-million transmission capacity deal with Reef Networks to extend its fibre optic backbone between Brisbane and Cairns.

The existing network links Brisbane to Perth via Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Despite already forecasting revenue opportunities, the network is not expected to be completed until April 2001, with construction scheduled to begin sometime in early 2000.

According to officials, the new network will provide 2.5 gigabits per second of capacity and will pass through regional centres including Caloundra, Maroochydore, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.

Officials said the network is expected to generate new revenues for CWO as the company will be able to offer more competitive services to Queensland Government agencies and businesses.

Leighton subsidiary, Visionstream will construct and maintain the network, according to officials.

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