FX Networks in $40 million network push

The company is extending its private fibre-optic network to provincial centres and to Christchurch

Wellington-based IP network challenger FX Networks is planning to spend $40 million over the next 18 months extending its private fibre-optic network to provincial centres and to Christchurch.

The company’s Auckland-Wellington backbone was turned on last September, after an initial investment of around $14 million was sunk into it.

Managing director Murray Jurgeleit says a spur is currently being laid to Tauranga. That should go live in around three months. This week, work will begin on laying a second link, between Auckland and Hamilton, which should be completed in November. This will provide the necessary redundancy that the company currently buys from another telco.

Next year, the Tauranga link will be extended to Rotorua and Taupo. A spur will also be laid to Napier and a link established to Christchurch, via the Cook Strait cable.

The network has already been rolled out to Upper Hutt and this link will be extended up through the Wairarapa to Palmerston North, providing further redundancy.

Jurgeleit says the investment is being funded 50% by shareholders and 50% from cashflow. “We’ve got a dozen large customers on our high-speed backbone. We’ve been operating the Government Shared Network with 100% reliability since December and we have 120 corporate customers through our ISP,” he says.

The ISP is the former Comnet, which FX Networks bought in 2004.

The company is offering 10Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s and up to 20Gbit/s services. None of these services are capped and each fibre is dedicated, so there is no loss of bandwidth as a result of multiple parties sharing the circuit.

Jurgeleit’s view is that a modern company needs at least 100Mbit/s to operate efficiently.

FX Networks has also become the first accredited network aggregator for the Kiwi Advanced Research and Education Network (KAREN).

“The challenges of managing the complex router configurations required for a core KAREN connection can be overwhelming for some of our members,” says KAREN chief executive Donald Clark.

“Accredited network aggregator services will allow more people the chance to experience KAREN as an essential enabler of their research, education and innovation capabilities.”

Accredited aggregators are able to supplement direct connectivity options available to KAREN members.

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Tags FX NetworksKARENNetworking & Telecomms IDgovernment shared networkfibre-optic

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