PIPE plans bandwidth partnerships

Brisbane-based peering and dark fibre specialist PIPE Networks is calling for partnership proposals as it seeks to leverage its network infrastructure to provide new services. "PIPE Networks sees many opportunities available in a joint venture or partnering arrangement with specialist service suppliers and vendors for delivery of next-generation services," the company said in a document sent to the Australian Stock Exchange today.

Brisbane-based peering and dark fibre specialist PIPE Networks is calling for partnership proposals as it seeks to leverage its network infrastructure to provide new services.

"PIPE Networks sees many opportunities available in a joint venture or partnering arrangement with specialist service suppliers and vendors for delivery of next-generation services," the company said in a document sent to the Australian Stock Exchange today.

The document listed examples such as managed storage over Internet, PayTV over Internet, metropolitan Ethernet or wireless mesh services and fibre to the building deployments as potential options that could be explored.

"We've been approached by a number of parties to do similar things," the company's managing director Bevan Slattery told ZDNet Australia in a telephone interview.

He said PIPE had in turn publicly asked for proposals due to a desire to remain neutral in the way it dealt with its existing Internet service provider and corporate customer base.

"Ideally from our perspective we'd like to see people bring new services to both the corporate and also our ISP customer base," Slattery said. However there is some ground PIPE will not tread.

"Interest in the same products as our existing commercial customers, and more specifically the deployment of exchange-based (central office) and residential-based ADSL infrastructure will not be considered for any joint venture or partnering opportunities," the company's document states.

"The thing we won't be doing is hurting our clients. What this expression of interest is about is enhancing their offerings," said Slattery.

Initial discussions will take place between PIPE and interested parties over the next few months, with a more formal evaluation and negotiation proces expected to kick off in August.

"At the end of the process, we might say: No-one offers anything compelling, new, innovative, that adds value for our ISP clients, and we might just say, well we're not going to do it. That's the reality of it," said Slattery.

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