Pacnet and Pacific Fibre have announced plans to jointly build the Pacific Fibre cable, a city-to-city, low-latency submarine fibre-optic cable that will boost connectivity between Australia, New Zealand and the US. The total cost of the new cable is estimated at USD400 million, and comprises of at least two fibre pairs with 64 wavelengths per fibre pair. By using 40Gbps per wavelength technology, the cable is expected to have a capacity of up to 5.12Tbps, and will be further upgradeable to beyond 12Tbps with future 100Gbps per wavelength technology.
The 13,600km cable will land in Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, and will also offer the most direct route between these landing points. ‘As Australia and New Zealand look towards deploying national broadband networks that will raise broadband penetration and access speeds, this new cable that we are building with Pacific Fibre will deliver the enhanced international connectivity that is essential to support these broadband initiatives,’ said Bill Barney, chief executive officer of Pacnet. ‘This investment is also an integral part of our overall strategy to expand our subsea cable infrastructure into the Australasia region, to complement our pan-Asian and Trans-Pacific network coverage and boost broadband connectivity into Asia.’
The new cable will be built on a partnership model that allows Pacnet and Pacific Fibre to each own and operate a fibre pair on the new cable system, but share responsibility for the cable supply contract as well as operations and maintenance costs. Pacnet and Pacific Fibre will begin the process of selecting a vendor to build the new cable shortly and will announce the award of the contract in the coming months. The new cable is expected to be ready for service in 2013.