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

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28 Nov 2014

BT Group has concluded its GBP3.7 million (USD6.3 million) project to deploy a fibre-optic undersea cable to the Isles of Scilly. In order to connect the archipelago, which is located 28 miles off the South West tip of Cornwall, a 939km cable between Porthcurno, Cornwall, and Santander, Spain, which had remained unused on the seabed of the Atlantic Ocean since 2006, was diverted to the Isles of Scilly during a month-long operation involving the cable ship Resolute. BT has also connected the islands that comprise the Isles of Scilly together, laying fibre between St Mary’s and Tresco and between Tresco, and Bryher. Meanwhile, the islands of St Agnes and St Martin’s will receive services via new microwave radio links from St Mary’s, which run off the fibre network.

Elsewhere, Network Rail has applied to Ofcom for powers that would allow the UK railway infrastructure operator to extend its ‘FTNx’ fibre-optic network so that it can offer wholesale services to other telecoms providers. The FTNx fibre network, which runs alongside the UK’s railways, is currently used to carry a range of voice, video and data traffic for rail operators. However, Network Rail wants to make FTNx available to other telecoms and has requested ‘code’ powers under the electronic communications code that would remove a lot of the red tape associated with deploying fibre beyond the railways. Code powers would allow it to maintain network infrastructure on public land without a licence, provide immunity from certain planning laws and allow it to apply for a court order to obtain rights to work on private land if an agreement cannot be reached with the owner.

Chilean telco Grupo GTD has switched on the second section of its domestic submarine cable link, between Coyhaique and Puerto Montt. The link was deployed by Germany’s NSW, a manufacturer of communications, submarine, overhead, power and offshore cables. The first phase of the rollout saw infrastructure deployed between Quellon and Puerto Chacabuco, in the south of the country. The total 400km project has cost around USD15 million.

Mobily has upgraded the fibre networks connecting to its submarine cable landing stations in Jeddah and Al-Khobar, Trade Arabia reports. Mobily is the exclusive landing partner for the Tata Communications-owned Tata TGN-Gulf Cable global network, which lands in Al-Khobar.

Coriant has been selected by Indonesia’s utility-firm-turned-telco PGASCOM to deploy its hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform to expand the capacity of its long-haul submarine cable network between Jakarta and Singapore. The hiT 7300 is an optical transport platform optimised for reliable and efficient transport in regional, long-haul and ultra-long-haul terrestrial and subsea networks.

The SAMENA Telecommunications Council and Gulf Bridge International (GBI) have jointly launched the reformed Submarine Cable Working Group (SSCWG) during a summit held in Dubai in the presence of SAMENA Council members, industry experts and guests. The new working group aims to foster dialogue between telecom industry peers and to raise awareness about issues related to the subsea cable industry, inter-regional connectivity and domestic and international infrastructure convergence.

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