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Pipe Networks to pitch Tas Basslink backup

Pipe Networks, builders of the PPC-1 cable between Sydney and Guam, will pitch access to its Sydney to New Zealand PPC-2 cable to a Tasmanian infrastructure company.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Pipe Networks, builders of the Sydney to Guam PPC-1 fibre cable, will pitch access to its Sydney to New Zealand PPC-2 cable to a Tasmanian infrastructure company.

Bevan Slattery told ZDNet.com.au today that the company's PPC-2 fibre cable that is planned to run from Sydney to New Zealand will be pitched to Tasmanian infrastructure owners as a secondary cable to the Basslink cable due to be launched this week.

"There are two spare fibres sitting 120 kilometres outside of Sydney that are earmarked for use for PPC-2. Possibly some of the capacity could be provided for a cable from Sydney to Hobart," said Slattery.

Slattery said Pipe Networks, which ran into funding problems after the credit crunch last year, would not seek to invest in the Sydney to Hobart cable but would look to assist with its construction.

Likely targets for investment could be Basslink Telecom or Aurora.

Slattery said a second cable was needed as a redundant path between the mainland and Hobart.

On Thursday, Minister for Communications Stephen Conroy and Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett plan to visit Tasmania to launch Basslink Telecom's Bass Strait cable, which will carry traffic from customers of ISP Internode and Aurora.

Aurora has been named as the key player in the Tasmanian roll-out of the NBN, which is expected to commence this month; however, tenders for work and equipment are yet to be issued.

Conroy last week said a tender for the NBN in Tasmania was required or else both governments would contravene international trade law. But it is still unclear whether the Tasmanian Government, the Federal Government or Aurora will issue the tender.

"Unless we're planning on breaking some international trade negotiations and agreements there will be tenders because it's a commonwealth and state procurement process, which both commonwealth and state have signed up to," Conroy said.

Conroy added that a memorandum of understanding had been signed by the parties involved.

Pipe Networks today also announced that Slattery would step away from his role overseeing the company's domestic operations, with the impending launch of the PPC-1 cable. Stepping into his place will be current chief operating officer and board member, Jason Sinclair.

"The PPC-1 project is moving from construction to an operational phase, so I am going to be helping establish network operations centres, help transition from construction to operations, and to drive sales and strategic partnerships," said Slattery.

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