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Cable TV plans to share network

WHARF'S New T & T, one of the three new licensees of the fixed telecommunications network service says the company will try to end its reliance on Hongkong Telecom for its trunk lines.

New T & T will share the same fibre-optic network with Wharf's other member Cable TV and lease trunk lines from Hongkong Telecom.

'We expect to finish our own fibre-optic network by 1998-99,' said Stephen Ng Tin-hoi, chairman and managing director of the New T & T.

'By that time, we will not rely so much on Hongkong Telecom.' Cable TV's programme transaction was suspended because of the break-down of four trunk lines leased from Hongkong Telecom on June 8.

New T & T was known to be the only one of the three new telephone operators to build its own fibre-optic networks.

The other two new licensees are Hutchison and New World.

The operators have not agreed on the cost of the interconnection of the networks.

Wharf will invest $6 billion to expand the fibre-optic network that Cable TV uses.

'The geographical coverage of the networks will be the same as those by Hongkong Telecom,' said Mr Ng.

'We can't see the other two [Hutchison and New World] building their own networks,' said Mr Ng.