NBN Co hits Australian National Broadband Network targets
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Cable system upgrades lead Southern Cross to lower prices
The owners of the Southern Cross submarine cable system say that the addition of 40-Gbps technology – and an ongoing transition to 100-Gbps operation – has enabled the company to cut prices on its undersea fiber-optic network.“We have reduced our capacity prices by another 20%,” said Sales and Marketing Director Ross Pfeffer. “This will be our tenth major price reduction since 2000 and over the period our price decline has averaged more than 22% per year.”The 28,500-km Southern Cross undersea cable system connects Australia and New Zealand with the United States.“It’s been pleasing to see big increases in data caps and declines in retail data cost for internet users in both Australia and New Zealand over the last year,” Pfeffer added. “Our continued initiatives to increase supply and reduce price are designed to encourage this process and to support the needs of Australia's NBN and New Zealand's UFB.”The move to 40-Gbps is the network’s eighth major capacity expansion program since 2001; it is due for completion in February. It will increase the fiber-optic network’s lit capacity to 2 Tbps. Meanwhile, 100-Gbps capabilities are being added concurrently and are already available on some parts of the network. The 100-Gbps roll out, which will take the lit capacity to 2.6 Tbps, is expected to be completed by June 2013. Both programs use coherent transmission technology from Ciena (see "Ciena supplies 40G coherent for Southern Cross network").“The increasing simplicity of equipment upgrades provides Southern Cross with the ability to frequently and rapidly expand capacity. We currently have the potential to go to at least 7 Tbps, about 30X higher than our original design capability,” Pfeffer said.The owners of Southern Cross also are proud of the network’s reliability. “Our protected circuits continue to provide 100% availability and the performance of the six fiber pairs and 500 repeaters on the diverse cable network is better today than when constructed more than 10 years ago” Pfeffer asserted.
Volex acquires AppliedMicro technology for active optical applications
Volex plc (LSE: VLX) says it has acquired active optical technology from Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (NASDAQ: AMCC) for approximately $2 million. The asset sale agreement includes a five-year non-compete clause that bars AppliedMicro from marketing and sales of active optical cables, optical transceivers, modules, and related assemblies.The companies will share ownership of the associated active optical patent portfolio, which will enable the two companies to continue development of the technologies. This includes collaboration on next-generation optical interconnect products."We chose Volex to take the platform forward due to its strong focus on the active optical cable space and extensive customer relationships in data-center markets,” explained George Jones, vice president of marketing and business development for connectivity solutions at AppliedMicro. “We look forward to working with Volex as it accelerates and furthers the development of the technology and manufacturing of an innovative product set to complement our own initiatives in semiconductor technology and networking."Added Ray Walsh, Volex CEO, "Our data-center and telecommunications customers have been asking for a cost-effective, high-speed optical solution to replace legacy copper interconnects. The technology and expertise we have acquired from AppliedMicro will provide Volex with a unique platform to develop and deliver reliable, low-power, competitive active optical solutions, including active optical cables and transceivers, into all of our sectors. The joint ownership of the patent portfolio will provide a foundation for a continuing close cooperation with AppliedMicro in product development, sales, and marketing activities."
NBN Co hits Australian National Broadband Network targets
NBN Co, the organization responsible for construction of Australia’s National Broadband Network, says it either completed or at least began construction of the fiber to the home (FTTH) network in areas covering 784,592 premises by the end of last year. This total slightly exceeds its goal of 758,000 premises before the end of the year.The Australian Government has charged NBN Co with constructing the fiber-based broadband access network to connect 93% of Australian premises by June 2021. The open-access FTTH network will support download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. The remaining 7% of Australian households will be served by a combination of fixed-wireless and satellite by 2015.“The National Broadband Network is an ambitious project which requires the efforts of many people working cooperatively towards a common goal,” said NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley. “To have achieved our year-end target is both pleasing for all involved and a clear indication that the NBN project is ramping up to full volume rollout.“I particularly thank our network planning and design team, our contract managers, and our construction partners for their efforts. By working together to achieve this year-end outcome the combined project team has established the settings to reach the peak rollout target of passing over 6000 premises a day by 2015,” Quigley added.So far, four contractors are working with NBN Co to build the national fiber-optic network:Silcar in NSW, Queensland, and the ACT Visionstream in Tasmania Transfield in Victoriad Syntheo (a Lend Lease/Service Stream joint venture) in the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia. NBN Co’s next milestone comes in June 2013, when it hopes to pass an additional 286,000 premises.
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