October 02, 2007 19:30 ET

VERNet Boosts Research and Education Broadband Network with Nortel Metro Ethernet Solution

Breakthrough Metro Ethernet Technology Enables 'Always On' Access to Bandwidth Hungry Services

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2007) - The Victorian Education and Research Network (VERNet), has signed a five-year, multimillion dollar contract with Nortel(1) (TSX:NT)(NYSE:NT) to significantly boost network capacity to provide member institutions with 'always on' high-speed broadband connectivity.

Nortel's Metro Ethernet Network portfolio Common Photonic Layer (CPL) advanced optical technology will enable VERNet to cost-effectively scale its network capacity up to 720 Gbps in the future to support the deployment and future expansion of high-bandwidth applications and services to a growing number of member institutions. This will allow more than 100 research and education institutions in the state of Victoria to introduce services such as real-time, high-definition video broadcasts, offsite disaster recovery and connections to radio telescopes. Member institutions currently include nine universities and the country's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).

Spanning more than 1,700km throughout Melbourne and regional Victoria, VERNet's new statewide fiber optic network with Metro Ethernet is currently under construction and due for completion in 2008.

"VERNet will provide the very fast and highly reliable connectivity that is critical for research and online education," said John Carruthers, chief executive officer, VERNet. "In turn, this capability will also allow member institutions to build world-class research and education programs."

"Our high-capacity network with Metro Ethernet will be a major advantage, and will position Victoria very well for the international trend towards high-speed, distributed education networks," said Carruthers. "The Nortel CPL technology we have selected simplifies the challenge of spanning long geographical distances without compromising network performance. As well, the network will enable researchers, educators and students to effectively collaborate regardless of whether they are located in rural areas or cities."

"High-speed broadband technology is becoming particularly relevant as we move into an age of Hyperconnectivity where anything and anyone that can benefit from a network connection will be connected," said Mark Stevens, managing director, Australia and New Zealand, Nortel. "The VERNet initiative is one of the fundamental building blocks of Victoria's research grid and is an essential piece of infrastructure for the Australian research community. CPL technology makes long distance broadband transport more efficient and cuts costs by reducing the number of 'regeneration points' needed to move information at super-fast speeds through the network."

In addition to CPL technology, Nortel's Metro Ethernet Network solution for VERNet also includes its Optical Metro 5000 platform for data transmission and the Optical Multiservice Edge 1000 for Ethernet support. The network will enable 10-gigabit services from launch and is 40-gigabit ready.

Nortel's Metro Ethernet Network portfolio of solutions has been chosen by leading service providers and institutions around the globe including Silk telecom and PowerTel in Australia, Mumbai International Airport in India, Shanghai Telecom in China, the Joint Universities Computer Centre in Hong Kong, BT for its 21st Century Network and Virgin Media (formerly ntl Telewest) in the UK, Sonofon in Denmark and Dakota Carrier Network and Frontier Communications in North America.

About Nortel

Nortel is a recognized leader in delivering communications capabilities that make the promise of Business Made Simple a reality for our customers. Our next-generation technologies, for both service provider and enterprise networks, support multimedia and business-critical applications. Nortel's technologies are designed to help eliminate today's barriers to efficiency, speed and performance by simplifying networks and connecting people to the information they need, when they need it. Nortel does business in more than 150 countries around the world. For more information, visit Nortel on the Web at For the latest Nortel news, visit

Certain statements in this press release may contain words such as "could", "expects", "may", "anticipates", "believes", "intends", "estimates", "targets", "envisions", "seeks" and other similar language and are considered forward-looking statements or information under applicable securities legislation. These statements are based on Nortel's current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections about the operating environment, economies and markets in which Nortel operates. These statements are subject to important assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict and the actual outcome may be materially different from those contemplated in forward-looking statements. For additional information with respect to certain of these and other factors, see Nortel's Annual Report on Form10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and other securities filings with the SEC. Unless otherwise required by applicable securities laws, Nortel disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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