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Cable compendium: a guide to the week’s submarine and terrestrial developments

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2 May 2014

State-backed Thai telco TOT has reportedly withdrawn from the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) consortium, after failing to meet the first payment deadline. According to The Nation newspaper, TOT had planned to inject USD5.2 million – or 10% of the USD52 million funding – last month, only to see its hopes dashed when the country’s ongoing political turmoil derailed its participation. TOT chairman Suchart Wongananchai commented: ‘TOT can’t make the first payment on the due date, so TOT had to withdraw from the project. Actually TOT had already prepared a budget to invest but we had to get approval from the cabinet, as all state-enterprise budgets need to be approved by the cabinet’. The subsea system, which was unveiled in January 2014, will run from south east Asia to Africa and Europe. The target completion date for the construction of the cable is 2016.

The Office des Postes et Telecommunication de la Polynesie Francaise (OPT) has confirmed that it undertook improvement work on the Honotua submarine cable on 29, 30 and 31 May. The work was required after the protective jacket for the cable was damaged. Honotua, which was laid between December 2009 and June 2010, connects several French Polynesian islands via Tahiti to Hawaii. Honotua has cable landing points at: Vaitape, Bora Bora (French Polynesia), Uturoa, Raiatea (French Polynesia), Huahine (French Polynesia), Moorea (French Polynesia), Papenoo, Tahiti (French Polynesia) and Spencer Beach, Kawaihae (Hawaii, US).

Latin American broadcast giant TV Azteca reports that it has made solid progress in Colombia, with the construction of what it terms ‘the largest fibre-optic network in Latin America’. Local unit Azteca Comunicaciones has completed the deployment of 15,780km of fibre, equivalent to around 83% of the overall 19,000km project. The network currently covers 648 municipalities, but is expected to rise to 753 municipalities upon completion. As previously announced, Azteca is building in a fibre-optic network that will cover close to 80% of Colombia, in an attempt to commercialise telecoms services within the country. The introduction of telecoms is expected to diversify and strengthen Azteca’s broadcast-derived revenues.

Fibre-optic network services provider Zayo Group has agreed to acquire Paris-based Neo Telecoms, which will add 350 metro route miles in Paris and more than 500 on-net buildings to Zayo’s European network. The current network connects London, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam with the US. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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