NEW PACIFIC FIBER OPTIC CABLE TO BE FULLY COMMITTED IN FOUR YEARS

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (March 31, 2000 – Radio Australia)---The director of Southern Cross' Asia-Pacific, Ross Pfeffer, says a $1.2 billion cable linking Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the United States will be fully committed in less than four-years because of Internet demands.

The fiber optic cable extends for 29,000 kilometers (17,400 miles) and is expected to be ready for service by mid-November, but Mr. Pfeffer said more capacity will have to be installed.

Southern Cross is half owned by Telecom New Zealand in a joint venture with 40-percent partner Cable and Wireless Optus and 10 percent partner MCI Worldcom.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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