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Verizon in China optical cable deal

Partners would include China Telecom and China Netcom, and would link the U.S. mainland and China via undersea cable.

Verizon Business said on Monday it had signed a $500 million deal with a consortium that includes China Telecom and China Netcom to build an undersea optical cable system directly linking the U.S. mainland and China. The construction and maintenance agreement is for a cable that will increase by 60 times overall existing direct-link capacity, Verizon said.

The consortium also includes China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom. Construction, which will extend more than 18,000 kilometers (11,160 miles), is set to begin in the first quarter of 2007, with completion expected in the third quarter of 2008.