Cable & Wireless USA (C&W-Vienna VA) announced it will invest $650 million to develop its new USA Internet network, linking more than 60 metropolitan areas across the United States. The network will deploy transmission equipment for OC-192 speeds and the latest in advanced routing and switching technology. Through an agreement with Level 3 Communications Inc. (Omaha, NE), C&W will purchase 15,000 route-mi of dark fiber to reach more than 50 metropolitan areas. Additionally, C&W has initiated the purchase of routers from Juniper Networks Inc. (Mountain View, CA) and switches from FORE Systems Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA). The network will link with C&W's global network, including its Internet backbone in Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. The USA Internet network is scheduled for completion in 2001, with certain segments coming online as they are completed.
Splitrock Services Inc. (The Woodlands, TX) will acquire fiber from Level 3 Communications (Omaha, NE). Splitrock will garner long-term rights to use up to 16 dark fiber strands in approximately 15,000 mi of Level 3's 16,000-mi nationwide fiber-optic network. The network is currently under construction by Level 3. Segments of the fiber should be installed during the first quarter of 2000, with the entire network scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2001. Headquartered near Houston, TX, Splitrock is building a network that places ATM switches in every point-of-presence.
FaciliCom International (Washington, DC) sold Tele 1 Europe (Sweden) capacity over its new FCI-One submarine cable connecting Denmark and Sweden. Under terms of the agreement, FCI will provide Tele1 Europe, on an indefeasible right-of-use (IRU) basis, one optical fiber pair routed on FCI-One between Malmo and Copenhagen. Further terms were not disclosed. The FCI-One cable was deployed across the Oresund between Denmark and Sweden last March. The 48-strand fiber-optic cable features transmission speeds up to 2.48 Gbits/sec.
IXC Communications Inc. (Austin, TX) activated an approximately 1000-mi fiber-optic network segment connecting Atlanta to Miami. Completion of the segment, which passes through Tallahassee, brings IXC's total activated fiber route-mi to approximately 10,200. The company expects to light more than 16,000 mi by year-end. IXC's OC-192 (10-Gbit/sec)-equipped network is the foundation for Gemini2000, the company's next-generation Internet backbone for commercial and research community traffic. IXC also purchased $25 million worth of CIENA Corp.'s Linthicum, MD) MultiWave Sentry DWDM optical transport systems for use in IXC's network.
NEC America Inc. (Melville, NY) announced its intention to enter the router market with plans to develop and market advanced carrier class "super routers." The company debuted its first product at Networld+Interop in Las Vegas in May. The IX7000 core router, designed to support various line interfaces and provide an effective migration path from existing Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) networks, is expected to be available later this year. According to NEC, the new line of super routers will be particularly well-suited to intranet and extranet or conventional voice other bandwidth-extensive applications.
GST Telecommunications Inc. (Vancouver, WA) announced further expansion of its western regional presence through an agreement with e.spire Communications Inc. (Annapolis Junction, MD) to add a metropolitan area network in Houston. Under the agreement, GST and e.spire will have e.spire's subsidiary, ACSI Network Technology Inc., construct a 38-mi conduit fiber network backbone in Houston and its central business district. Through strategic agreements on individual segments with Worldwide Fiber Inc. (Vancouver, BC, Canada), the FTV Communications LLC consortium, Williams Communications Inc. (Tulsa, OK), Level 3 Communications Inc. (Omaha, NE), NEXTLINK Communications Inc. (Bellevue, WA), and IXC Communications Inc. (Austin, TX), GST is extending its multiple-conduit West Coast backbone north to Portland and south to San Diego. GST also announced it is deploying Avici Systems' (Chelmsford, MA) terabit switch/routers into the West Coast leg of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) project. NGI is a networking research test bed co-funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Transparent Optical Network (NTON) consortium. According to the two companies, this is the first true terabit-capable backbone solution deployed in a live network.
Global Crossing Ltd. signed a contract initially valued at $700 million with Tyco Submarine Systems Ltd. (TSSL-Morristown, NJ) to have TSSL construct the South American Crossing (SAC) cable system. The SAC fiber-optic system will directly connect Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Panama, and St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands). Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) will provide fiber and equipment to TSSL, which will use the most advanced dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) technology available. During its first quarter investors report, Global Crossing announced initial services for Pacific Crossing (PC-1), a fiber-optic cable link between Asia and the Americas previously planned for March 2000, has been accelerated to December 1999. Finally, Global Crossing announced a definitive agreement to acquire the Global Marine business of Cable & Wireless plc (London) in a transaction valued at about $885 million of cash and assumed indebtedness.
BellSouth (Atlanta) announced a contract with CIENA Corp. (Linthicum, MD) to supply the MultiWave Sentry DWDM optical transport system for long-haul interoffice facility relief in its network. Initial deployments of CIENA equipment began in January and already cover five states: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Florida. According to BellSouth, it will deploy more CIENA DWDM systems during 1999 "in order to provide the increasing bandwidth requirements while reducing capital outlays for fiber reinforcement."
E-TEK Dynamics Inc. (San Jose, CA) signed a three-year agreement to supply DWDM modules to Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (Richardson, TX). Under terms of the agreement, Fujitsu will source the majority of DWDM component requirements for its flashwave metro system from E-TEK. The flashwave metro DWDM system is designed to provide high-capacity relief to fiber infrastructures in existing metropolitan networks. E-TEK's DWDM components will be packaged into 4- and 8-channel multiplexing/demultiplexing modules for the flashwave system.
Svenska Kraftnät (SvK) (Vallingby, Sweden) awarded its Northern Rectangle fiber-optic expansion contract to FOCAS Ltd. (Swindon, UK). FOCAS will deploy over 650 km of SkyLite and SkyWrap fiber-optic cable. Connecting the cities of Stockholm, Sundsvall, Ostersund, and Orebro, the Northern Rectangle project is the second phase of a massive Svenska Kraftnät network expansion. Svenska Kraftnät began installing the route in March 1999 and completion is expected for the end of 2000.
Monterey Networks (Richardson, TX) received an investment from Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA), after previously raising $10 million in first-round financing from Communications Ventures, JAFCO America Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and Sevin Rosen Funds. Under terms of the agreement, Cisco has acquired a minority equity stake in Monterey, a wavelength router developer. Graeme Fraser, vice president and general manager of optical internetworking at Cisco, has joined Monterey's board of directors. Michael Goguen, with Sequoia Capital, will become a director of Monterey.
BellSouth Corp. (Atlanta) and Qwest Communications International Inc. (Denver, CO) announced a strategic relationship to accelerate the companies' efforts to provide a full set of integrated digital data, image, and voice communications services. The relationship includes three components. First, Qwest and BellSouth will immediately begin coordinated marketing of services. Second, once BellSouth is allowed into the long-distance business, the companies will jointly develop and deliver a comprehensive set of end-to-end, high-speed data, image, and voice communications services. Finally, BellSouth will invest about $3.5 billion at $94.50 a share for about a 10% equity stake in Qwest.
Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (New York City) signed a contract with Level 3 Communications Inc. (Omaha, NE) for Metromedia to provide Level 3 with local loop infrastructure in the New York and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas. As Metromedia's newest dark fiber customer, Level 3 will lease high-speed, high-bandwidth optical infrastructure enabling it to access these markets. The agreement is valued at approximately $10 million. Specific terms were not disclosed.
Pacific Gateway Exchange Inc. (Burlingame, CA) announced a $30-million transaction with Williams Communications Group Inc. (Tulsa, OK), a unit of Williams, for domestic U.S. and transatlantic broadband network services. Williams will buy muliple STM-1 (155-Mbit/sec) network capacity from Pacitic Gateway on its transatlantic city center network connection New York with London. Also, Pacific Gateway will purchase OC-3 (155-Mbit/sec) and OC-12 (622-Mbit/sec) broadband capacity connecting 12 major metropolitan cities in the United States on Williams' nationwide network. The agreement enables Pacific Gateway to enter the U.S.-centric Internet market and provides significant savings over its existing domestic long-distance network. Williams gains a cost effective transatlantic route for voice and data services.
Australian networking company Powertel (Sydney, Australia) is continuing the rollout of long-distance fiber-optic cable on the eastern side of Australia. Under a contract with Energy Australia's construction group, EnerServ, construction has begun on a cable linking Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane, as well as towns in between. The company, majority-owned by U.S.-based Williams Inc. (Tulsa, OK) and part owned by a consortium of Australian utility companies-Energy Australia, Citipover, and Energex-has already built a fiber ring in Sydney. The Sydney-to-Melbourne route extends over 1000km and should be completed in January 2000. Nortel Networks (Brampton, ON, Canada) is providing the fiber-optic transmission equipment for the intercity routes.