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Lynn Mayor McManus Welcomes New England's First Transatlantic Fiber Optic Cable System

With an official groundbreaking on December 2, construction of the hub of New England's first transatlantic fiber optic cable system is underway in Lynn, Massachusetts. The cable, to be laid on the ocean floor for Worldwide Telecom USA, Inc. (WTU), will establish connections with Europe for the company's extensive North American network, will give Boston-area companies a major telecommunications switching facility that is very close to home - and will put Lynn on the world's telecommunications map.

When completed as scheduled in March 2001, the transatlantic cable, called the Hibernia System, will also have landing points in Halifax, Nova Scotia; Dublin, Ireland; and Liverpool, England. Its initial value is placed at $630 million; approximately $10 million will be invested in the U.S. switching facility to be built on Commercial Street in Lynn, across fromthe Lynn Vocational and Technical High School. The new 16,000-square-foot facility is expected to employ about 15 workers.

Mayor Patrick McManus and other City officials are pleased with Lynn's selection as the cable hub, as it is expected to dramatically increase the City's attractiveness as a location for companies requiring secure, high speed data transmission capabilities. For a variety of reasons - including the need to minimize the risk of security breaches, power outages and general data transmission interruptions, and the desire to minimize data transmission costs - companies with extensive telecommunication needs want to locate their data facilities close to major switching hubs. The Lynn facility means that fiber optic transmissions will no longer have to go through New York City or other cities outside the area. "The potential economic impact on the City of Lynn is considerable," says Mayor McManus.

The WTU facility also will open new markets across both North America and the European continent for Lynn's existing cyber-based businesses. Most of the Cyber District already established by the City is located within minutes of the new facility. According to Lynn's Development Director, Stephen Harausz, the Hibernia System complements Bell Atlantic's existing switching facilities and offers ShoreNet and other cyber-based businesses located there even greater capabilities and competitive advantages.

Lynn was selected as the U.S. hub site because of its marine topography and its proximity to the many high-tech companies in the area, according to WTU's project manager, Chris Brassine. WTU's parent company, Vancouver-based Worldwide Fiber, Inc., is currently building an 18,000-mile North American fiber optic communications infrastructure.

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