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

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5 Jun 2015

Australian network provider FirstPath has deployed two new strands of high-capacity submarine fibre-optic cable across the Sydney Harbour, at a cost of between AUD500,000 and AUD750,000 (USD422,870 and USD576,600). The cable is described by manufacturer Prysmian as ‘the densest underwater cable in Australia at 720 fibre cores’. One of the newly deployed sections links Dawes Point and Blue Point, while the other runs beneath the Harbour Bridge; the combination of the two sections provides FirstPath with 1,440 fibres and significant diversity, it said. Elsewhere, last week Prysmian also supplied Australia’s Vocus Communications with its ‘1728 fibre Flextube’ cable for a ‘one shot’ install for a data centre in Sydney. The newly developed cable is 23mm in overall diameter (approximately the same size as Prysmian’s current 624f standard loose tube cable), but boasts ‘the highest fibre density of any high fibre count cable deployed in the world’, according to the vendor.

US-based undersea capacity-based network solutions provider AquaComms has selected telecom and fibre consulting company APTelecom to assist it with the international sales and commercialisation of the America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) submarine cable system, which will stretch from the US to Ireland. The 5,400km fibre-optic link, which has design capacity of 130Gbps x 100Gbps per fibre pair, will land in Shirley (New York) and Killala on the West Coast of Ireland, with stubbed branching units for future deployments. It will also interconnect with CeltixConnect – a 131km Irish Sea subsea cable wholly owned by AquaComms’ subsidiary Sea Fibre Networks (SFN) – to provide extended connectivity to London (UK) and continental Europe. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, construction work on the new subsea link started in April this year, and the cable is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in December 2015.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) services provider Akamai has upgraded overall capacity at DE-CIX’s neutral internet exchange (IX) in Frankfurt to 1.2Tbps, via 12×100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GE) connections, claiming ‘the largest service provider bandwidth at any internet exchange worldwide’. Akamai, which relies on extensive peering as part of its distribution strategy, participates at all DE-CIX exchanges, which are located on three continents: Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich (Germany), New York (US) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

The Asia-America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system, which connects south-east Asia and the US, is reportedly scheduled to enter a ten-day major maintenance phase on Sunday, which will greatly reduce broadband speeds in Vietnam, reports. In recent years the AAG cable has been plagued by periodic outages, with the cable’s poor technical design being cited as a factor in its repeated breakdowns. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the 20,000km AAG cable system has been repaired five times in the last 18 months – in January, July and September 2014, and January and April 2015.

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Guam-based full-service telecoms operator GTA from funds serviced by Japanese private equity firm Advantage Partners. Under the terms of the transaction, Telkom USA (established in December 2013 as an international operation arm of Telkom) will acquire GTA’s parent company TeleGuam Holdings, subject to approval from regulators in Guam and the US. Telkom noted that Guam’s geographically strategic location – with numerous submarine cables between Asia and the US landing on the island – will improve its position in Asia Pacific as a hub of international traffic. The acquisition will strengthen the Indonesian firm’s portfolio of international operations, which include Telin Singapore, Telin Hong Kong, Telkom Australia, Telkom Taiwan, Telkom USA, Telin Malaysia, Telkom Macau, Telin Timor-Leste and a branch in Myanmar. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database states that Advantage Partners acquired GTA from Shamrock Capital Advisors in June 2011. The latter had bought GTA from the government in January 2005.

California-based intelligent transport network provider Infinera has been selected by Colt Technology Services, a provider of network, voice, datacentre and managed cloud services, to supply it with its Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform for the upgrade of the carrier’s long-distance network, dubbed the European Supercore. With the Infinera DTN-X platform, Colt can support the demand for high-capacity services in Europe more effectively. Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth solution allows the telco to rapidly provision 40G and 100G services to its carrier and enterprise customers while providing highly reliable and scalable services. The European Supercore network supports national and international services between the cities of London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich, Vienna and Dublin. Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform supports up to 8Tbps of capacity and the ability to provide continued service and revenue growth in the high bandwidth services market.

Allied Fiber, which describes itself as the United States’ first open access, integrated, network-neutral colocation and dark fibre superstructure operator, has announced that domestic network communications provider Windstream has invoked an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) agreement and lease for dark fibre and neutral colocation with Allied Fiber, to expand its network between Miami and Jacksonville. In a statement, the dark fibre operator notes that the agreement with Windstream forms part of the latter’s ongoing focus to build out its long haul 100G optical network, dubbed WINterstate.

Zayo Group, a publicly traded company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado providing fibre-based bandwidth infrastructure services and carrier-neutral colocation, plans to extend its dark fibre link between Washington, DC and Atlanta, adding over 800 route miles to its existing 19,000 route mile long-haul network. Zaya Group says work on the new fibre expansion is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year and will be completed in Q4 2017.

Finally, the government of Indonesia says it intends to designate the municipality of Batam, the largest city in the Riau Islands, as a submarine cable hub, as it looks to reduce the country’s reliance on other nations for telecommunications. In a statement, Indonesian Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara said that the network would be integrated with the country’s existing Data Recovery Centre (DRC), managed by the Batam Free Trade Zone Management Agency (BPK FTZ). In a recent visit to Batam, Rudiantara said: ‘Lying outside the volcano belt and being close to neighbouring countries Singapore and Malaysia, Batam has the potential to be designed as a hub for a submarine cable project, to ensure full capacity of the data centre’. Currently, there are four submarine cable network operators in Batam that connect Indonesia with Singapore and Malaysia, namely PT Indosat, PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia, PT Moratel and NAP. The Jakarta Post notes that in 2010 BPK FTZ constructed the 1,220 square metre DRC, which has a 105km-long fibre-optic cable network equipped with fixed telephone (PSTN) as well as voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) technology.

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