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

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18 Sep 2015

Hibernia Networks has announced that its 4,600km submarine cable route connecting Halifax in Nova Scotia (Canada) to Cork (Ireland) is ready for service (RFS). Hibernia Express – which represents the first transatlantic submarine cable build in over twelve years – comprises six fibre-pairs, with a portion of the fibre optimised for the lowest latency, and a portion optimised for 100Gbpsx100Gbps capacity, while the total cross-sectional design capacity of the cable is more than 53Tbps. Leveraging a DWDM platform, Hibernia Express is engineered to potentially scale up to 400Gbps per circuit and beyond. Following the deployment, Hibernia Networks notes that it has launched a Ultra Low Latency service between New York and London, which improved the lowest latency route between the two cities by five milliseconds.

Russian operator Rostelecom has completed the first phase of a new fibre-optic submarine cable which aims to cross the Okhotsk Sea and connect the Kamchatka, Sakhalin and Magadan regions. The first stage of the construction work – handled by Chinese equipment vendor Huawei – involved the deployment of 930km of fibre-optic cabling between Magadan and Okha (Sakhalin). The operator will now commence work on the Okha-Ust-Bolsheretsk stretch, which is due for completion by December this year; the whole system is scheduled to enter commercial operation in June 2016. The new cable will stretch 2,000km and have a total capacity of 400Gbps, with the option to expand this to up to 8Tbps in the future.

Tanzania has finalised the construction of its National ICT Broadband Backbone (NICTBB), AllAfrica reports. The 20,000km backbone network covers all regions of Tanzania’s mainland, and offers connectivity to three international submarine cables – Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy), SEACOM and Seychelles to East Africa System (SEAS) – and also cross-border connectivity to the neighbouring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi and Zambia. TeleGeography notes that the network is managed and operated by the government through the incumbent telecoms operator Tanzania Telecommunications Company Ltd (TTCL). Meanwhile, Liquid Telecom CEO Nic Rudnick said that following the NICTBB deployment, his company will start routing capacity from Tanzania: ‘Formerly, we brought capacities to Zambia and Zimbabwe from South Africa, but for the first time we are bringing it from Tanzania.’ The executive added that Liquid is also ready to provide redundancy to Kenya, Rwanda and Burundi via Tanzania.

Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has selected Ciena to upgrade its submarine and terrestrial networks in the Middle East with 100G and 200G technologies. Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical platform – equipped with WaveLogic 3 Extreme chipset, GeoMesh submarine solutions and E-Suite integrated packet switching – will add more intelligence to the GBI network, as well as improved ease of operations, maintenance and future capacity expansions, including an option to perform future upgrades. Ed McCormack, vice president and general manager of Submarine Systems at Ciena, disclosed: ‘With Ciena’s solutions underpinning GBI’s submarine and terrestrial cables, GBI will have a fully optimised end-to-end network. This massive capacity enhancement also means that GBI is well positioned to accommodate growth and help its customers facilitate the demand for high-bandwidth applications, such as those needed for video and cloud services’.

UK-based Global Marine Systems has announced that it has assisted Huawei Marine with the deployment of the 1,100km Nigeria-Cameroon Submarine Cable System (NCSCS). The project involved the laying of *Nexans*’ Repeatered Optical Cables (ROC-2) between Lagos in Nigeria and Kribi (Cameroon), with a branching unit for future connections to Escravos and Qua Iboe in Nigeria’s south-east region.

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new regulations that would make it obligatory for US companies to report any submarine cable outages which affect more than 50% of traffic for 30 minutes or more, Fierce Telecom reports. Currently, operators are only required to log outages on an ad hoc basis, a method that the FCC has claimed is ‘too limited to be of use’. In its proposal, the FCC outlined that operators would have to provide details on the nature and impact of any damage and disruption to communications, help mitigate any impact on emergency services and consumers, and assist in service restoration, thus enabling the FCC to achieve three goals: identify trends, address systemic issues and inform policy making.

Several members of the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS) consortium – Cable Andino, SETAR of Aruba and Curacao-based United Telecommunication Services (UTS) – have established Points of Presence (PoPs) in the Cologix JAX 1 data centre in Jacksonville (Florida), thus creating a new direct path between the US and South America. Carlos Pazmino Campos, chairman of the PCCS consortium, said: ‘We are including Jacksonville in our network design for strategic reasons, most notably that connecting into US fibre networks further north reduces hurricane risk and latency.’

Zayo Group’s data centre and colocation business zColo has expanded its Miami data centre, with plans to double its capacity by early 2016. Zayo developed the centre as a key interconnection hub, partnering with Netflix and to form the Florida Internet Exchange (FL-IX). Located in downtown Miami, the zColo facility provides access to Zayo’s extensive fibre network in the US and Europe and its full suite of bandwidth solutions, including dark fibre, wavelengths, Ethernet and IP. The data centre also offers interconnections to 15 major carriers, as well as a virtual extended presence in the NAP of the Americas data centre. Zayo’s zColo US footprint totals 36 facilities and more than 480,000 square feet of billable space.

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