Alcatel-Lucent announced yesterday that it has been chosen by Nextgen Networks to supply equipment for a fibre-optic backbone as part of the National Broadband Network (NBN) project in Australia. Nextgen Networks, a wholesale data carrier, was recently announced as the successful tenderer for the Australian government’s USD250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Programme to deliver competitive backhaul links into major regional centres. Alca-Lu will be the major optical equipment supplier to Nextgen Networks and will immediately deliver its longhaul dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) platform, photonic service switches (PSS) and transport service switches (TSS) for the new fibre links to be built out over the next 18 months. The French-US vendor will also provide network management services from its Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC) in Sydney. The construction of backbone transmission links will provide access points to six priority blackspots for competitive backhaul in regional Australia, and will provide another 102 competitive backbone access points in every mainland state. Phil Sykes, MD of Nextgen Networks, said that the rollout will ‘enable more people and businesses in regional cities and towns to access competitive broadband and mobile services,’ adding that ‘it is one of the first building blocks of Australia’s NBN.’ The Aussie firm owns and operates 8,500km of fibre-optic cable from Brisbane to Perth, and is a specialist transmission services provider to telecoms carriers and service providers, corporations and government clients.