United stays mum on ethernet fibre health

UnitedNetworks is continuing its policy of not separating the results of its broadband ethernet business, United Networks Communications, from those of the parent company.

UnitedNetworks is continuing its policy of not separating the results of its broadband ethernet business, United Networks Communications, from those of the parent company.

At a press briefing just before the power and gas provider's annual general meeting this week, chief executive Dan Warnock said the company plans to continue the policy and, asked when it might change, said "I don't want to be held to [any date]".

Commercial sensitivity is the reason, Warnock says. "It's an incubator business and it will be a number of years before it’s a significant part of UnitedNetworks."

United Networks Communications general manager Sean McDonald says the communications division is not yet profitable, but is on target to be in about two years.

United Networks Communications sells capacity on its fibre-optic cables, run through old gas pipes in the Auckland and Wellington central business districts, to service and application providers.

It does so on an "open access" basis, McDonald says, which means it doesn't compete with those it sells capacity to.

Among its customers are AT&T, Datacraft and Hitachi, which McDonald says uses the capacity at 1Gbit/s for storage area networks.

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