Does Anyone Have A Really Freakin' Large Pipe Cleaner?

PPC1-1I'm down at the official launch of the PPC-1 international broadband pipe this morning. Official bits all kick off at 11am, There should be plenty of news, so I'll be trying to liveblog it. In the meantime, you can watch the cable being laid in the ship here, and the cable arriving in Sydney here to get you all excited...

Update: It's starting! 11:02: Oh God, Andrew O'Keefe is MC. Bad jokes about the weather abound... 11:05: Oh frak! Lost my camera... 11:06: Found it. OK, 6900 km of cable connecting Guam to Sydney. 11:07 Bevan Slattery, CEO of Pipe Networks taking the stage. 11:07: iiNet put the idea forward to Pipe back in 2006. Bevan laughed at the idea. Then after another contact had conversation lamenting difficulty getting content to Australia from OS. 11:08: Tagline: "Not about capacity, it's about competition." 11:10: PPC-1 (pipe pacific cable Number 1) 11:11: Had to endure FUD campaigns from operators, plus GFC. Needed $80 million for the job, but had a lot of trouble getting it. 11:12: Developed a plan to move forward without the banks while facing insolvency — crap, this whole thing could have gone sour really quickly. 11:14: Will you get bigger quotas? Yes. Cheaper plans? Yes. In fact you're already getting them. 11:15: Added bonus: redundancy in cables to Asia. Awesome. 11:16: A video now. Sydney harbour... Oh wait, this thing's in the press kit. I'll post it when I'm not just using a mobile internet key to connect to the net. It's got a pretty full-on soundtrack for a video about pipes... 11:18: There's something weirdly sexual about a huge metal pipe moving through a ship... 11:20: Clip's done, O'Keefe's back on stage. 11:22: David Coughlan, CEO of Tyco Telecommunications is on stage. They're the guys that laid the cable. 11:24: History of Pipe/Tyco partnership being discussed. Tyco wondered how Pipe would manage to pay for something 4x their annual revenue. 11:25: The contract between Tyco and Pipe were signed only 20 months ago. That's just crazy! 11:27: Now Bevan's back on stage. Talking about the cable. 1.92TB system. 11:28: Maximum of $US30 million debt for Pipe International — the pipe itself is debt free. 11:29: Thanking partners: Michael Micket from iiNet, John Lindsay from Internode, Peter Loko from Telikom PNG plus a "customer who can't be named" (who's probably Google). 11:32: And a lot more people from Tyco, Tata, Pipe...they're all up on stage. 11:35: Video from Guam — PPC-1 is active! 11:36: To showcase the pipe in action, there are two 103-inch Plasmas streaming HD content from Guam. I can tell you it looks awesome! 11:37: All done! I'll pop some stats online a little later today. This is a huge day for Aussie broadband.

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