Work on fibre-optic network begins

Utility firm United Networks has begun work on its fibre-optic network for the Auckland and Wellington CBDs.

Utility firm United Networks has begun work on its fibre-optic network for the Auckland and Wellington CBDs.

Works Infrastructure, part of the Downer Group of companies, has been appointed to lay the network which will total between 80 to 100km. The $30 million project will deliver 1Gbit/s of bandwidth and construction will start within a few weeks.

The company will operate the network as an open access wholesaler and says talks with potential customers are under way. Most of the cable should be laid by February and the project completed by the end of the summer.

United says its project is larger than the rival CityLink network, which is expanding on its 50km Wellington base serving 200 CBD buildings. However, CityLink's 1000-fibre network claims to offer bandwith speeds in excess of 10Gbit/s.

An initial 3km first phase of CityLink's cable is due to be completed later this month in downtown Auckland, with a rollout of "many kilometres" starting after Christmas and running into 2002.

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