Telstra plans high-speed Australia-Japan cable

Telstra has joined a consortium building a fibre optic link between Australian and Japan with a data transfer speed of 640 gigabits per second, the telecommunications company has announced.

The proposed Australia-Japan cable, to be in service by 2001, will have more than 500 times the combined capacity of the existing PacRim West and PacRim East cables connecting Australia to Asia and North America respectively, according to Doug Campbell, Telstra's group managing director for wholesale and international business.

The cable will link the east coast of Australia with Japan. The cable will link to other parts of Asia and North America via existing cable lines.

The project caters to Australia's exploding demand for Internet access, voice services, high-speed data services and multimedia services, according to Campbell.

A memorandum of understanding over a feasibility study of the project has recently been signed by Telstra and two major global and regional carriers from Japan and the US, Campbell said.

The new cable will support Telstra's planned business requirements, which include providing wide-area networks for corporate customers in the Asia region, Campbell said.

Following evaluation of the feasibility study findings, a final decision to proceed with construction of the Australia-Japan cable is expected later this year.

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