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Leighton to build 100G bps cable to Asia

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Infrastructure heavyweight Leighton Contractors has inked a deal with Alcatel-Lucent to build and deploy a 4,800-kilometre multi-terabit submarine cable system linking Perth to Singapore.

Initially to be lit with 100 Gbps, the submarine cable system will be owned by new Leighton subsidiary Australia-Singapore Cable Ltd and will link Australia to Singapore, through the Sunda Strait in Indonesia.

The project is scheduled to go live in 2013.

Australia suffers a chronic shortage of competition in the international submarine cable market. US-bound cables are owned by Southern Cross Cable Network and Telstra. Australia-Asia connections include Pipe's PPC-1, the Australia-Japan Cable, and the Indonesia-Australia legs of Jasaurus and Sea-Me-We 3.

Pacific Fibre is currently raising funds to add a new Au-NZ-US route.

Once the cable design and route surveys are complete, construction is set to begin in 2012 (subject to board approval at Leighton).

“This new cable system will fill the much needed gap in the market place connecting Australia via the Indian Ocean to Singapore and offering a more cost effective, higher capacity and lower latency route than alternative east coast routes,” said Peter McGrath, Chairman of ASC and Executive General Manager of Leighton Telecommunications.

McGrath said that network would provide competitive international wholesale services from both Australia’s East and West Coasts to Singapore and will enable end to end services from Singapore to Sydney, at 10Gbit/s, 40Gbit/s and eventually 100Gbit/s speeds.

Leighton subsidiary NextGen Networks, which operates a national fibre network in Australia and is building new fibres under the government's Regional Backhaul Blackspots programme, will have its own international link when the project is complete. ®

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