Our July guest is Roger de Salis, a director of FxNetworks.

FX Networks are a Wellington company with significant Unix and Cisco Networking experience. The principals of FX have over 50 years experience in the IT and Telecommunications industry, the bulk of which is about continuously available on-line systems for public use. They specialise in bringing interesting technical ideas to market.

FX believe you should be able to get connectivity far greater than what is currently available in New Zealand, and have made great investment in a fibre network around New Zealand. They're also pioneers in the use of VoIP.

Summary of meeting

Roger left Cisco in May 2001, and set up FX in May 2003. FX bought ComNet from Industrial Research Ltd in Nov 2004, gaining 5 staff and 3x class B IPv4 address space.

Between Nov 2005 and Aug 2006 they have been laying fibre optic cable; they have their own cable between Hamilton and PalmerstonNorth spanning around 450km, and have plans for a Tauranga/Rotorua/Taupo loop, a cable through Hutt Valley, a link to Napier, and a link to Christchurch.


  • Cisco 15454 chassis (provides 16x 10Gbps)
  • 10GB XFP laser repeaters (repeaters are approximately every 70-80km)
  • concrete bunkers with batteries and 2 days' worth of diesel generator power
  • cable has 5 bundles of 12 fibres each.


  • Offer free national VoIP, 3c/min international, calls to PSTN near-cost price.
  • Customers must join this VoIP network, and not run their own non interoperable one.
  • compatible VoIP hardware: Cisco call manager, Zultys, Asterisk, Nortel BCM

FX provides backhaul, ISP + Internet. Local franchisees deal with end-users, SIP services at end-points, and gateways in major cities. This is run along a "utility" model, with a flat monthly rate. Video/conferencing - eg


  • Small towns with repeaters get one fibre broken at that point to provide connectivity back to a router.
  • Cable has a copper loop laid with it for location purposes - when a voltage is put through it, equipment can detect where the cable is alongside the road.
  • Varied location of repeaters, such as buried bunkers, old power station, bank vault.
  • All Di-Electric Self-Supporting Cable (ADSS) along powered train lines in Wellington region.
  • Roger attained his private pilot's licence (to help take his mind off networking)
  • Burying cable invariably leads to occasional broken phone/power/sewage lines to nearby houses. "oops".

The presentation finished with a photo slide show of various aspects of the network laying process.