Gigabit Optical Network Slated for Taiwan

Alcatel-Lucent and Taiwan's main fixed-line telecom provider will build a gigabit passive optical network by the third quarter of 2011 to merge high-speed Internet with other services.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom will work with Alcatel-Lucent on the island's first network of its kind, the network builder said in a statement on Thursday.

The network will let Chunghwa Telecom offer "triple-play" services, the statement said. That term usually refers to television, high-speed Internet and a basic telephone service sent over one broadband connection. Passive optical networks also can ease bandwidth bottlenecks.

Chunghwa Telecom, which competes viciously with other local fixed-line providers, would use the network to improve service for homes and businesses on the island of about 23 million people.

The carrier declined to estimate a cost for the gigabit passive optical network or give technical details.

In 2004, Chunghwa Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding with Intel to develop multimedia applications and services for home users.

Telecom providers worldwide are scrambling to raise Internet speeds and offer multiple services, with many leaning toward gigabit passive optical networks.

Alcatel-Lucent has also built gigabit passive optical network projects with Verizon, France Telecom and Hong Kong Broadband Network Ltd. It has helped install other telecommunications systems in Taiwan.

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