History of Nova Scotia
with special attention given to
Communications and Transportation

Chapter 67
2000 September 13-30




2000 September 13

Steve Jobs Unveils Apple's New Operating System

OS Ten

Ambitious upgrade of the Macintosh operating system

PARIS (AP) — Apple Computer chief Steve Jobs on Wednesday released a long-awaited public test version of OS X — an ambitious upgrade of the Macintosh operating system.

It's out with the familiar linear windows that have long organized computer screens. The new system has sleek graphics, colorful on-screen buttons and sliding windows that make for easier computing, the company said.

"It's unlike anything you've ever experienced on a Mac before," Jobs told an audience of more than 3,700 at the opening of the Apple Expo in Paris. "It is the future of the Macintosh. It turned out incredible."

OS X

A public test version of the OS X — the X stands for 10 — went on sale Wednesday in English, French and German at the Paris trade show and Apple's online stores for US$29.95.

OS X has been delayed several times. In May, Jobs said the public test version would be out "this summer."

A more complete and fine-tuned commercial version will go on sale early next year, Jobs said. Apple has not yet announced the price of the final version.

Jobs also announced the release of two upgraded versions of the company's iBook laptop, starting at US$1,499. The translucent machines have a faster processors, larger hard drives and come with FireWire ports for fast transfer of data and video.

In his characteristically relaxed garb of faded jeans and a black turtleneck, Jobs told a packed hall that the company's goal for its new operating system was to simplify the computing experience while revving up the power.

"It's very easy to do things without a lot of complexity, but when you need the complexity you have it in a very elegant way," Jobs said about the operating system.

The revised file organizer in OS X lets movies, music and text files be previewed before being opened. The new system comes with an MP3 player and an audio player, as well as Microsoft's Internet Explorer 5.0 Web browser.

"One of the coolest features of the new Mac operating system," according to Jobs, is its revised taskbar, known as the "Dock," which makes it easier to organize and work with several documents, applications and windows at once.

The new operating system has plenty of changes under the hood as well. It can run more applications simultaneously, and if one program crashes, it won't take the entire system down with it.

Apple also announced that the powerful Radeon graphics card from ATI Technologies Inc. will be available as an option on custom-built Macs.

Graphics cards improve the looks of 3-D graphics in games and design applications. The graphics cards available for the Macintosh have lagged behind those for PCs (IBM-compatible personal computers) in the last few years, but experts say the Radeon rivals the best PC cards.

Source:
Infobeat website
    http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2569718222-07d

Reference:
Apple Inc. website
    http://www.apple.com/


2000 September 14   Thursday

Two Cruise Ships Arrested at Halifax

Creditors force cruise ships back to Halifax

Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette seizes ships for defaulted debt

Luxury cruises they weren't. About 1,500 people cruising aboard two Premier Cruise Lines ships, Rembrandt and SeaBreeze 1, were evicted Thursday and dumped on the Halifax waterfront after the vessels were placed under arrest.

Passengers who wanted to return to New York were put on Big Red Boat II, owned by the Oceanic Marine company, but chartered by Premier, Alan Twaits, the cruise line's senior vice-president, said during a conference call Thursday night.

Big Red Boat II was expected to sail for New York late Thursday. Though some of SeaBreeze 1's 480 passengers said late Thursday evening they expected their ship would leave for Boston, they were later told the ship would remain in Halifax overnight.

The vessel seizures, under a Federal Court order, affected a total of 2,800 passenegers.

The drama began late Wednesday night for 900 to 1,000 passengers aboard Rembrandt, when the vessel was cruising waters between Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Repossessed on the high seas

"We were repossessed on the high seas," said Alvin Prince of Azle, Texas, one of hundreds of passengers startled by an announcement at 11:15pm that they had to turn back.

" 'We're going back to Halifax. They've repossessed our ship. Start packing,' " said a woman in Mr. Prince's group, recounting the abrupt message over the ship's public address system.

"They said they wanted us off by 8am ... We were asleep," said another woman in the group of 107 vacationers from Azle. The group, on a tour organized by the First Bank of Azle, boarded Rembrandt in New York on Sunday. Most passengers were Americans.

Rembrandt's cruise included stops at Bar Harbor, Maine, and Halifax, and the vessel was to visit Quebec City and Montreal before returning to New York.

"I regret to inform you of an unexpected change in our schedule," Capt. Bo Lewenhagen said in a statement distributed to passengers.

"The first mortgagees of the ship have this evening (Wednesday) taken possession of the ship and instructed the ship to proceed to Halifax ... Passengers must disembark the ship tomorrow in Halifax, where bus transportation will be provided to Big Red Boat II for cruising back to New York.

"I must express my apologies for this disruption to your plans. I, and all crew, will continue to serve you and make the remainder of your cruise and your trip home as pleasant as possible," Capt. Lewenhagen said.

Creditor Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, an investment firm in New York, would not say during the conference call how much Premier owed. Catherine Conroy said DLJ learned other parties were contemplating seizure and the firm acted quickly in order to help passengers get back home.

Other creditors' names weren't released, but The Canadian Press reported that one Nova Scotia company, Blue Water Agencies of Dartmouth, and two Quebec firms, Ramsey Greig and Co. Ltd. of Quebec City and 9062-7076 Quebec Inc., were involved. Unitor ASA of Norway and Broadbent Selections Inc. of San Francisco were also said to be owed money.

Rembrandt passengers had just visited Halifax on the ship's second stop Wednesday.

But Thursday they were back, sitting for hours on luggage jammed into a warehouse.

"The (Rembrandt) owner had known it was at least three months in arrears," Mr. Prince said, leaning against his suitcase. He said the passengers' quarrel is not with Premier but with the creditors.

As passengers waited in the shed, trucks filled with food from Rembrandt whizzed past, and mattresses from the ship were stacked near the back.

"They're gutting the ship," said one passenger.

Be off the boat in twenty minutes

Many passengers were told they would get breakfast Thursday, but the lineups were so long a large number went hungry. "We were in line to eat. They said, 'Twenty minutes. Get your things and get off the boat,' " said Vera Beck. "That was the only time I got really frustrated."

Many stood for hours while their tour guide frantically tried to arrange a Plan B.

"They don't care," said one elderly woman, referring to the ship owners.

"We've been in the warehouse all day," another said.

Most had paid about US$1,700 each for the cruise.

Mrs. Beck and her fellow Texans worried about the crew, one of whom was seen crying. "They don't know if they'll get paid," Mrs. Beck said. Mr. Twaits said the crews would be paid.

The Texas group, determined to continue the trip, chartered buses at their own expense to take them on to Quebec. "We lost half our cruise, why lose the rest of it?" said Mrs. Beck.

Premier, based in Port Canaveral, Florida, posted a message on its answering system late Thursday, saying several of its ships had been impounded. One ship was reportedly seized in Mexico.

"To our loyal passengers and customers: We regret to inform you that Premier Cruise Lines was forced to suspend operations of all its vessels indefinitely. Our lender has taken possession of our ships pursuant to the ships' mortgages," a female voice said.

Mr. Twaits said refunds would be negotiated through a surety bond with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission.

Premier had been in talks with creditors for weeks, he said, but they fell apart late Wednesday.

He denied passengers had been left in the lurch.

"I wouldn't say they're stranded," Mr. Twaits said, adding many would be flown to Boston and New York in the next few days.

"(The seizures have) led to an awful lot of confusion," harbourmaster Randy Sherman said. "I feel sorry for the passengers ... They set out (and) end up in this sort of legal wrangle."

"Generally, the industry was aware Premier was financially restructuring," said Patricia McDermott, with the Halifax Port Authority. "(We were) wondering if they would be around next year as opposed to this year."

Big Red Boat II and SeaBreeze 1 have made a total of 45 calls at Halifax this year, she said, and cancelled nine others. The vessels have been calling here since 1996.

[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 15 September 2000]


Confusion Reigns for Passengers on Seized Ships

Saturday, 16 September 2000

The cruise ship Rembrandt was six hours out of Halifax Wednesday night when Edward Evers of Arkansas heard the terrifying words over the public address system: "The Portugese have seized the ship."

Hollywood images of armed commandos flashed through his mind before he realized the captain, in his fractured English, had really said Premier Cruise Line's "mortgagees" had taken control.

Yesterday, after sailing back to Halifax, being bumped from one ship to another and spending the night in rustic crew's quarters, Mr. Evers could not be blamed for concluding that next time he'd choose Portugese terrorists over a short-changed investment bank. Walking back to the pier, he and his wife and two fellow passengers did their best to keep their spirits up. "We've been thrown out of better places than Rembrandt," Mr. Evers joked.

Confusion reigned yesterday as stranded passengers uncertain about their travel arrangements milled with anxious crewmen from the one remaining cruise ship, SeaBreeze. Hundreds of passengers from three cruise ships were dumped in Halifax Thursday after Florida-based Premier Cruise Lines folded.

The ships were diverted to Halifax after U.S. investment bank Donaldson Lufkin and Jenerette seized Premier's fleet for failing to make a mortgage payment. Two of the cruise ships left Halifax yesterday, one full of passengers bound for New York and the other with crew only headed for the Bahamas. SeaBreeze remained under arrest in Halifax...
Premier Cruise Lines was one of the Halifax port's biggest cruise customers this year, with 36 visits so far. But the company has been on shaky footing for some time. It lost US$20,000,000 last year — an improvement compared to the $70,000,000 lost the year before. A spokesman for Donaldson Lufkin and Jenerette said the investment bank seized the ships after receiving word other creditors planned to take similar action.

[The National Post, 16 September 2000]


Bankrupt cruise line faces 16 more claims

Two ships gone, one still in port

Saturday, 16 September 2000

Sixteen new claims flooded into the Federal Court of Canada's Halifax office yesterday against two Premier Cruise Lines ships ordered to port the day before. It's not clear how much in total is owed to the two companies that filed the new requests — Norway's Unitor ASA and Nova Scotia's Blue Water Agencies. Unitor filed a statement of claim that states Premier owes it $809,314 for goods and services to ships around the world.

Meanwhile, passengers cut adrift in Halifax when Big Red Boat II, Rembrandt and SeaBreeze 1 were ordered to port struggled to find their way home yesterday. Each ship carried an estimated 850 passengers.

Some squeezed aboard Big Red Boat II as it left Halifax Harbour early yesterday morning, while others boarded charter flights for home. Rembrandt also left port yesterday after its owners reached an agreement with its creditors, said harbourmaster Randy Sherman. Sherman said the owners of SeaBreeze 1, which remains in port, chartered three planes for its passengers.

The Federal Court of Canada ordered the three ships to port Thursday after requests from a number of companies came in. About 2,800 passengers were put ashore in Halifax, Mexico and the Bahamas. The cruise line shut down after its primary lender, the New York investment firm Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette, seized four ships that had been put up for collateral.

[The Halifax Daily News, 16 September 2000]


Creditors Circling Cruise Company

Passengers stranded in Halifax after two cruise ships were impounded started to clear the decks Friday, heading home on flights booked by the line's creditors. But Premier Cruise Lines' troubles are far from over, as its impounded SeaBreeze 1 faces about 20 liens for unpaid bills filed with the Federal Court in Halifax.

And creditors from around the world are expected to file more claims this weekend, said a court spokesman who asked not to be named."It's just starting, the lawyers said. We're expecting a whole lot more," he said.

As the liens piled up, so did the frustrations of stranded passengers still waiting to get home, some of whom described the ship as a floating "prison."

Although a precise figure was unavailable, there were still about 200 passengers waiting to leave Halifax late Friday, out of the 1,500 originally affected.

The saga began late Wednesday when Premier's Rembrandt, which stopped in Halifax earlier this week, was ordered back to port after the captain was notified it had been repossessed at the request of one large creditor, New York investment firm Donaldson Lufkin Jenrette (DLJ).

After reaching a deal with creditors, Rembrandt left port at 1:30am Friday with only crew aboard. It was bound for Nassau, where it was expected to be sold.

Big Red Boat II, chartered to Premier and to which many Rembrandt passengers were transferred, left for Boston and New York.

Five other Premier vessels carrying about 2,000 passengers were also seized Thursday at various ports from the Caribbean to the Mediterranean. In total, 2,800 passengers were affected.

As DLJ scrambled to make arrangements for about 900 Rembrandt passengers, it called on SeaBreeze 1 to return to Halifax to take on Rembrandt's guests.

Carrying about 480 passengers, SeaBreeze 1 arrived but was soon arrested by provincial sheriffs. It, too, had been here this week, as part of a voyage from Boston to St. John's, Newfoundland, and Portland, Maine, before returning to Massachusetts.

"We're frightened to go out of the room because the story changes every time you turn your back," said Kathie Wade, a former Rembrandt passenger from Fort Worth, Texas, who, with her husband, Bob, moved to SeaBreeze 1 Thursday night. SeaBreeze 1 was the third vessel they'd called home in 24 hours. The couple were first shuffled to Big Red Boat II before moving again to SeaBreeze 1. "We just sat all day yesterday. Then they put us aboard the Big Red Boat or whatever that was," said Mr. Wade, as the couple got a breath of fresh air on the pier. "They said we're going to New York and then they don't have any cabins aboard it. So then they threw us off that one."

Creditors with claims against Premier included ship supplier Blue Water Agencies of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, which said it was owed US$4,634 by SeaBreeze 1, C$3,805 by Big Red Boat II and US$11,323 by Rembrandt. Blue Water refused comment Friday.

[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, Saturday, 16 September 2000]




References:
Premier Cruise Lines, Port Canaveral, Florida
    http://www.premiercruises.com/
SS Rembrandt
    http://www.premiercruises.com/3g.htm
SS Rembrandt's cabin accomodations
    http://www.premiercruises.com/3g02.htm
SS SeaBreeze 1
    http://www.premiercruises.com/3a01.htm
SS SeaBreeze 1 plan of J deck
    http://www.premiercruises.com/3a01h2.htm
SS Big Red Boat II
    http://www.thebigredboat.com/bigredboats/bigredboat_2.cfm?LangID=US
SS Big Red Boat II rates
    http://www.thebigredboat.com/itineraries/new_york_to_canada_rates.cfm?LangID=US
Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., New York City
    http://www.dlj.com/
Unitor ASA, Oslo, Norway
    http://www.unitor.com/
Unitor Cruise Service — a dedicated concept for cruise vessel operators
    http://www.unitor.com/internet/Latest%20news/Cruise.htm
History of Unitor
    http://www.unitor.com/history/History2001.htm
Blue Water Agencies Limited, Dartmouth [RJSC ID#1068858] <bluewater@ns.sympatico.ca>
    http://wsd.world.no/query/details.asp?Cnr=1178
Anchor Offshore Catering Limited, formed in 1998, is a 50/50 partnership between Reliance Offshore and Blue Water Agencies...
    http://www.oilworks.com/March2000/scanf.html
Federal Court of Canada
    http://home.ican.net/~marlatt/craig/fedcourt.html
Decisions of the Federal Court of Canada
    http://www.fja.gc.ca/en/cf/decisions.html
Federal Court Reports Internet Service
    http://www.fja.gc.ca/en/cf/intro.html


Arrested Ship Could be Auctioned

Creditors apply in Federal Court to sell SeaBreeze

17 October 2000

The mortgage holder of the cruise ship SeaBreeze I will ask the Federal Court of Canada on Wednesday, October 18th, if it can put the ship up for sale.

The 1,400-passenger ship, owned by Premier Cruise Lines of Port Canaveral, Florida, was arrested in Halifax on September 14 when Premier ran into financial problems. SeaBreeze I, along with a second cruise ship, Rembrandt, were seized in Halifax. Rembrandt quickly made arrangements to leave port.

Will Moreira of Daley, Black and Moreira of Halifax, legal counsel for mortgagee, DLJ Capital Funding Inc. of New York, said Monday that DLJ has applied to court for an order that the ship be sold in Halifax.

The majority of the vessel's crew have been paid and sent home, while a few remain on the ship.

Mr. Moreira said if the Federal Court approves the motion to sell the ship, "we are proposing that there be an auction in Halifax sometime in November. Whoever is interested in buying the ship will come here and (it) will be sold to the highest bidder," he said. Approximately 55 claims have been filed against the vessel for unpaid bills — mainly for supplies and services.

The mortgage holders are hopeful the court will approve the sale because it is costly to maintain the vessel idle at berth, and with winter coming, it will become even more expensive.

"We are saying the ship is not going to increase in value if we wait. Let's get it sold as soon as possible and sort out who gets paid down the road," Mr. Moreira said. "We have brokers in New York and Sweden anxious to market the vessel. In terms of who is interested and for how much, it is way too early to tell," he said.

Industry sources say claims against the vessel, combined with the mortgage, likely exceed the ship's value.

[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 17 October 2000]


2000 September 18

New Radio Station Not Yet On Air

Cash, antenna woes thwart broadcaster

Finding a place for a transmitter antenna and a shortage of cash have delayed the launch of metro's newest radio station. CHCN 106.9 FM, a community station serving Cole Harbour, Lawrencetown, Eastern Passage and the Prestons, all on the east side of Halifax Harbour, had planned to start broadcasting next month, said Cole Harbour Community Radio Society chairman Mike Whitehouse.

But the radio station has no place for its transmitter antenna.

The society — which received its broadcast licence from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in May — had hoped the antenna would go on a Mount Edward Road site in Dartmouth, which Whitehouse said was an ideal location. "(The signal) would have reached all of Dartmouth and into Halifax," Whitehouse said.

But the society was unable to piggyback its antenna on either of the two communications towers on the site, Whitehouse said. MTT, one of the station's major sponsors, agreed to house the antenna on a third tower built on the site in early June. But area residents, citing health concerns, objected to another tower in their neighbourhood, and MTT dismantled the new tower after less than a month.

"Before amalgamation, the City of Dartmouth approved one (new) communications tower there," said District 7 Councillor Condo Sarto. It was for an MTT tower. The city also decided to require public consultation before any more towers could be approved.

But after amalgamation, Sarto said the land changed hands from the city to the Halifax regional water commission, which was unaware of the former Dartmouth council's decision.

So when Clearnet applied to build a communications tower on the site in January, the water commission gave them approval without consulting residents.

Sarto said residents did not object to the Clearnet tower, since they knew council had agreed to one tower. They were unaware it was not the same tower that Dartmouth council had approved back in 1994.

"They knew there was one tower going in," said Sarto. "But when the second one appeared, all heck broke loose."

The radio station has still not found another home for its antenna. "Right now, we're trying to assist them in looking at some alternative locations," said Jim Nunn, MTT's regional director. Possibilities include other MTT towers in the area.

A cash shortage has also delayed opening the station. The society originally estimated the station's startup costs at $140,000, but Whitehouse says that number is now closer to a quarter of a million. While the station has received several large donations, including a $10,000 grant from Montreal's McConnell Foundation, Whitehouse said funding is still a concern.

Whitehouse now hopes the station will begin broadcasting in January or February 2001.

[The Halifax Daily News, 18 September 2000]


2000 September 19

GM Starts Internet Car Sales

DETROIT, MICHIGAN (AP) — General Motors Corporation is expanding its online shopping services to enable consumers to check vehicle inventories and get a guaranteed "e-price," allowing customers to complete all but the final steps of a vehicle purchase on its GM BuyPower website. A dealer would handle the final purchase paperwork, the company said Monday.

A pilot program starting the first week of October will cover the seven Oldsmobile dealers in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area.

Ford Moving Fast Into Internet Sales

In August 2000, Ford Motor Company and its 4,200 Ford Division dealers announced a similar program, set for launch in California in a few weeks.

The automakers' Internet sales systems are a response to the growing popularity of online vehicle sales programs, seen as a threat to the traditional dealer-automaker relationship.

"If they can't beat them, they are going to try to join them," said Burnham Securities analyst David Healy. The key to the value of an online vehicle shopping site is the accuracy of its pricing information, Healy said.

FordDirect.com's guaranteed maximum price and GM BuyPower's e-price are useful but are not the same as fixed, no-haggle prices, he said. "Maybe it narrows the range of bargaining, but it doesn't seem to exhaust it," Healy said.

The GM site, GMBuyPower.com, already allows customers to get online vehicle information, including the sticker price. During the Minneapolis-area test, shoppers also will be able to pick the options and features they want, search the combined inventory of area dealers, receive an e-price quote and select a dealer with which to complete the purchase. "That price is a market driven price, based on what consumers typically have been paying for the same vehicle or a similar vehicle in that market,"

GM spokesman Mike Gardner said. "The dealers are obligated to honor that price."

After a 90-day test in Minneapolis, GM plans to test the program with other nameplates and in other areas. "We ultimately would like to roll this program out nationally by the end of 2001," he said.

GM dealers are playing a big role in the development of the online sales program, working through the year-old GM e-Dealer Advisory Board, Gardner said.

Ford's online sales program also is set for launch soon. Announced August 25th, FordDirect.com will begin operating in late September or early October in a yet-to-be-named California city, said Ford spokesman Chris Vinyard.

The site will supply a price that "represents the maximum for that vehicle in that market," he said. Buyers are free to try to negotiate a lower price with the dealer, Vinyard said. "We know now that the percentage of customers who go on the Internet to shop is something like 60 percent," he said.

Last spring, Ford's main website was getting 162 million hits a month.
Source:   http://www.infobeat.com/stories/cgi/story.cgi?id=2569869296-fc2

References:
General Motors Corporation
    http://www.gm.com/
    http://www.GMBuyPower.com/
Ford Motor Company
    http://www.ford.com/
    http://www.FordDirect.com/


2000 September 27

$80,000,000 fibre-optic site opens in Herring Cove

360networks station has far-flung connections

It has been nine months of waiting, but Nova Scotia has a new high-tech baby to boast about. The transatlantic fibre optic cable station at Hospital Point, near Herring Cove, a Halifax suburb, announced in January, was officially opened Wednesday.

The cable station is viewed by its promoters as an opportunity to put Nova Scotia at the forefront of e-commerce and the Internet.

Michael MacDonald, president of the Greater Halifax Partnership, said his organization will be working hard to get the message out to the world about the new opportunity in Halifax.

Patrick Coughlan, general manager of 360networks in Ireland, said in an interview that Nova Scotia was at risk of being cut off from the global e-commerce web if the landfall station had been located in Boston or elsewhere along the Atlantic coast.

"This is a phenomenally advanced network, and the bandwidth that is available from this is going to have tremendous advantages ... on the local community," he said.

Mr. Coughlan has been intimately involved in the development of the Herring Cove station and the transatlantic network from the start.

"Multimedia, software development, e-commerce related industries, can proliferate and grow around 360networks' Nova Scotia location," Mr. Coughlan said. "They can access the bandwidth and have instantaneous access to a global network."

Vancouver-based 360networks, which built the US$850,000,000 12,200km undersea network, known as 360atlantic, is using the Nova Scotia station as a hub, linking Canada and the U.S. with Europe.

Now that the construction phase is completed, testing begins, and the network should be ready for commercial use by the first quarter of 2001, say company officials.

It aims to satisfy demand for bandwidth brought about by increased Internet use and the growing number of high-capacity Web applications.

The transatlantic submarine cables can carry 10 gigabits (billion bits of information) per second of data on a single channel, and offer total system capacity of 1.92 terabits (trillion bits of information) per second.

The $80,000,000 2,300-square-metre building at Hospital Point is the North American landing site for two transatlantic fibre optic cables — one 5,500-kilometre cable connected to Southport, near Liverpool, England and the other a 5,600km cable link to Dublin — plus a 750km underwater cable to Boston and an overland cable to hook up with 360networks' existing North American network in Quebec City.

Ireland now counts software development as one of its main exports, Mr. Coughlan said. 360networks is spending US$120,000,000 in Ireland to develop a "Web farm" around its Dublin cable station to allow companies to offer services on an intra-European basis.

"It's up to the people in Nova Scotia to avail (themselves) of this product that's on their doorstep, avail (themselves) of this tremendous, great facility," Mr. Coughlan said.

A transatlantic cable was connected to Dublin because 360networks believed there was a need to provide a service to the growing software industry there, Mr. Coughlan said. "And we feel the same about Nova Scotia, down the road."

Once known as Worldwide Fibre, the company changed its name to 360networks earlier this year.

Terry Norman, president and chief executive officer of Halifax-based Clear Picture Corporation, said his company is excited by the opportunity the 360atlantic network can provide.

Clear Picture is a world leader in providing Internet survey services, collecting data at rapid speeds and providing immediate results.

"We've been having some trouble with our connections to Europe, which is a growing market for us, and this should clear that up," Mr. Norman said.

Clear Picture has offices in San Jose, California, and New York and will soon open one in London. It operates in 80 countries, and in 29 different languages, so Internet reliability is essential, he said.

By mid-2002, 360networks plans to have a fibre optic cable network measuring 131,500 kilometres, linking more than 100 major cities.

The Hospital Point station will employ forty people, ten of them full-time technicians.

[The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 28 September 2000]


Cable Landing Station Opens in Halifax Suburb

27 September 2000

Maybe it was the champagne that led to all the dreaming at the opening of an $80-million cable landing station in Halifax yesterday. Or maybe it was the economic potential represented by linking Halifax with major cities worldwide through a globe-spanning, multibillion-dollar fibre-optic cable network.

Vancouver-based 360networks owns the Ketch Harbour station, the landing point for a pair of 5,000km fibre-optic cables that span the Atlantic. A third cable runs from Halifax to Boston.

It's all part of a worldwide broadband system that will stretch more than 131,000km and be capable of moving 250,000,000 phone calls simultaneously when it is in full operation by mid-2002.

Patrick Coughlan, general manager of 360networks, said the network was born from the explosive growth in Internet use.

That growth was causing "bottlenecks on the ocean floor" as millions of Web users seeking to access a never-ending array of services clogged the older cables.

With so much capacity available, Coughlan said new industries will soon emerge to take advantage of it such as "Web farms" and remote data-storage facilities. They're not here yet, but just wait, he said. "Six months in this industry is a long time," he said.

As well as phone and data lines, the system will also be able to move real-time video, which Coughlan said is of great interest to the education and entertainment sectors.

Michael MacDonald, president of the Greater Halifax Partnership, dubbed the facility the "industrial park of the future. We intend to grow this baby really fast," MacDonald said.

The station itself sits on a 16-hectare campus-like setting just off Ketch Harbour Road.

The network switching equipment found in the 2,300-square-metre station draws its electricity from a bank of batteries. They are constantly recharged from the provincial power grid.

And should there be an interruption, the station has three diesel generators that can produce enough electricity to power a small town.

Premier John Hamm harkened back to the days of his boyhood when transatlantic cables jammed with copper wire were the stuff of dreams.

Today, he said, Nova Scotians stood at a "massive doorway to the modern global economy."

Hamm said the government would aggressively market Nova Scotia's access to this new information link.

[The Halifax Daily News, 28 September 2000]




Undersea Fibre Optic Cable
Feeding fibre optic cable into a cable ship storage tank,
getting ready to lay the cable on the bottom of the ocean.

$80,000,000 Cable Landing Station in Halifax Completed

360networks Incorporated

27 September 2000

Halifax — 360networks, an international provider of broadband network services, unveiled today a $80,000,000 cable landing station in Halifax that will serve as a major access point to its global fibre optic network.

First transatlantic fibre optic cable
to come ashore in Nova Scotia

The station will connect Canada to Europe and the United States via a 12,200km undersea network. The US$850,000,000 network, known as 360atlantic, will be the first transatlantic fibre optic cable with a direct landing site in Nova Scotia.

Located on 16 hectares (40 acres) of land at Hospital Point in suburban Halifax, the new 2,300-square-metre cable landing station houses network switching equipment, office space and three electrical generators with enough energy to power a small town. It also features secure space where telecommunications and data communications companies will be able to connect their regional networks and applications to 360networks' long-haul network.

"In cooperation with the Government of Nova Scotia, the Greater Halifax Partnership and the Halifax Regional Municipality, we have completed a significant project that will enable Halifax to become a major telecommunications gateway between Europe and North America," said Scott Lyons, vice-president of submarine systems at 360networks.

Nova Scotia Premier John Hamm said: "Our Government is proud of this new infrastructure and we will make it known to the world."

"The completion of 360networks' cable landing station in Nova Scotia will enable our communications and technology companies to become more and more connected to our partners around the world," said Michael MacDonald, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Halifax Partnership.

Halifax will be connected with Europe via a 5,500km cable to Liverpool and another 5,600km cable to Dublin. Traffic from those cables will be routed through the cable landing station to 360networks' North American network via Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto. Halifax will also be linked to Boston via a 750km cable.

When 360atlantic enters into commercial service in the first quarter of 2001, it will help satisfy the increasing demands for bandwidth as a result of dramatic increase in Internet usage and the growing number of high capacity Web applications. 360atlantic will be among the first transatlantic submarine cables to support 10 gigabits per second of data on a single channel, and offer total system capacity of 1.92 terabits per second.

360networks offers broadband network and co-location services to telecommunications and data communications companies. 360networks is developing one of the largest and most technologically advanced fibre optic mesh networks in the world. By mid-2002, the planned network will extend 131,500km 81,530 miles and link more than 100 major cities with terrestrial routes in North America and Europe, and undersea cables linking North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

Source:
360networks Inc, news release, 27 September 2000
    http://www.360.net/




References:
360networks Incorporated
    http://www.360.net/Home.asp
History of 360networks, formerly known as Worldwide Fiber, began life in 1987...
    http://www.360.net/About_Us---History.asp





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