Basslink has chosen Swedish networking giant Ericsson as its vendor partner to light up the Basslink cable, which is slated to bring 40Gbps worth of internet capacity to the Apple Isle sometime in early 2009.
Ericsson will supply and install Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing equipment which will boost the signal over the 303km of fibre crossing the Bass Strait, allowing it to be spanned without mid-cable amplification or repeaters. The plan is to light 40Gbps initially, with the option to add more capacity if required.
Michael Coates, general manager of Basslink Telecoms, said that the equipment would be arriving at the end of the year so that testing could start in early 2009. "We look forward to working with Ericsson to install and commission the equipment required to light our fibres," he said in a statement. "It is a critical element of our plan to commercialise the fibre optic component of Basslink."
The deal, signed last week, is worth millions, according to an Ericsson spokesperson, although the company was not prepared to provide a more exact figure.
This agreement has been made possible by Aurora Energy, the Tasmanian government and Basslink owner CitySpring finalising negotiations for the commercialisation of the cable which had been lying dormant for years.