The decision by a key Asia Global Crossing subsidiary to file for bankruptcy protection will not affect the 100 customers using its transpacific submarine cables. Pacific Crossing had retained Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein to look into a possible sale to a third party and other means of reorganising its business, spokeswoman Selene Lo said. The firm, which operates one of the key networks carrying telecommunications traffic between Asia and the United States, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the US on Friday. It joins a growing list of network operators who cannot cope with the high debt taken on to build their networks and falling wholesale bandwidth prices. The company is hoping that a court-ordered reprieve from payments to creditors will give it time to restructure and find investors. Pacific Crossing is an 84.5 per cent-owned subsidiary of Asia Global Crossing, which is also raising money to survive. The remainder is held by a unit of Japanese conglomerate Marubeni. Pacific Crossing's debt is US$703 million. It said its PC-1 network is one of two key undersea cable systems carrying transpacific telecoms traffic. The other system is the Japan-US Cable Network: both have about 640 gigabits per second of capacity, although only a fraction of both networks is being used. Competition has increased on the route over the past year as the Japan-US network came online and pressure is likely to continue when competitor TyCom International begins switching on its planned 7,680 gigabits over the next few years. Pacific Crossing's bankruptcy filing is one more indication that the gloom for telecoms networks and their suppliers may not lift soon. Even as research firms report that wholesale prices have stabilised, the bankruptcy means the transpacific business may not have hit bottom. Pacific Crossing said: ''The slowdown in sales of wholesale capacity over the past few quarters and the uncertain outlook for capacity sales over the next 12 to 18 months were factors that the board of directors considered.'' PC-1 had about 100 gigabits of its network - or 16 per cent - in use and would switch on more as the market demanded, Ms Lo said. As with much transpacific network traffic, PC-1 lands its lines in Japan. Its customers include telecoms service providers and multinationals. The bankruptcy comes as many other large network operators wrestle with financial woes. KPNQwest, one of Europe's largest data network providers, filed for bankruptcy at the end of May, while WorldCom - operator of key Internet provider UUNet Technologies - has declared bankruptcy in the US under billions of dollars in debt. Pacific Crossing's troubles partly reflect the difficulties faced by its parent, which is owned by Global Crossing, Microsoft and Softbank. Global Crossing's declaration of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January may have had a knock-on effect for companies associated with it, some telecoms industry insiders say, as customers have switched to providers with a more stable outlook.