The Australia Japan Cable (AJC) undersea fibre-optic cable project is nearing completion, with connection to Sydney's shores now underway.
The $US500 million project, which spans more than 12,000 kilometres between Australia and Japan via Guam, is on schedule to meet a commercial operational timeframe of late December 2001.
When the final 3500 kilometres of cable is laid, it will have a design capacity of 640Gbps.
"Australia Japan Cable will provide a valuable link between the two countries and provide telecommunications companies and other large data users with flexible access to Asian and North American markets through interconnection points in Guam and Japan," AJC chief executive officer Robin Russell said.
Major shareholders in the project include WorldCom, Japan Telecom, Telstra, NTT, Teleglobe and the AT&T/BT Concert alliance.