Nortel Networks has stitched up a deal to provide cable modems to the Optus@Home broadband network.
Nortel was awarded "preferred supplier status" after an extensive tender process, the managing director of Nortel's Cable & Wireless account Ron Pendergast said.
Pendergast said the fact that Optus had its hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) cable network laid to 2.2 million Australian homes illustrated the significance of the contract.
While details of the deal remain confidential, it extends throughout the initial roll-out period - which is expected to be completed by mid-2000, according to Optus@Home's director of sales, marketing and programming, John Garner.
Optus@Home is holding discussions with computer manufacturers to have internal cable modems included with their PCs.
A spokesperson for Optus@Home also said customers can expect to be offered the chance of discounted connections by taking advantage of "bundled" packages, which might include Optus pay-TV, telephony and cable Internet access.