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

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25 Sep 2015

Auckland-based Hawaiki Submarine Cable has launched a belated attempt to raise USD150 million in funding, equivalent to half of the construction costs required for the deployment of the proposed Hawaiki Submarine Cable System, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Work on the 14,000km fibre-optic cable – which will link Australia, New Zealand and the US with a number of South Pacific Islands and Hawaii – was initially scheduled to commence in 2013, but the lack of capital has led to several delays, with the most recent ready for service (RFS) date announced as Q3 2017. TeleGeography notes that a similar project, the USD400 million Pacific Fibre venture, collapsed in 2012 after failing to secure the required funding.

Australian operator Optus has announced that its inter-capital fibre network from Cairns in North Queensland to Perth (Western Australia) via Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide has been upgraded to 100Gbps technology, in cooperation with Alcatel-Lucent. The company said that the upgrade has delivered an agile and flexible transport network, which is capable of carrying wavelength links with combined capacity ten times larger than previously available. Alcatel-Lucent used its 1830 Photonic Service Switch and Photonic Service Engine (PSE)-based coherent technology with soft-decision forward error correction (SD-FEC). The technology can extend the reach of 100G signals by more than 3,000km without the need for costly re-generation.

Elsewhere, Alcatel-Lucent has been contracted by Eurotunnel to deploy a new agile fibre-optic network in the Channel Tunnel – linking France to the UK – using its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (1830 PSS) platform. The new network, which will run along the 50km-long North and South tunnels, will connect the existing SDH fibre-optic network across both sides of the Channel Tunnel.

Hexatronic Cables & Interconnect Systems *has secured a contract with privately-owned UK company *A-2-Sea Solutions to install and maintain a submarine cable link stretching between the Isle of Wright and Portsmouth. Under the contract – worth SEK10 million (USD1.2 million) – Hexatronic will supply approximately 20km of three-layer rock armoured submarine ribbon cable, which is designed to withstand demanding undersea conditions.

Texas-based Xtera Communications and China’s State Grid Information & Telecommunication (SGIT) have demonstrated 100G and 10G transmissions over record unrepeatered distances of 627km and 645km, respectively. The demonstration – with no active equipment between the end-points of the links – was performed in cooperation with Xtera’s partner in China Accelink, by combining Xtera’s Wise Raman optical amplification solution and *Corning*’s ultra-low loss Vascade EX2000 optical fibre. Xtera highlighted that ultra-long low-capacity unrepeatered transmission systems provide a cost-effective and simpler-to-operate solution over a repeatered solution for many applications, including subsea links connecting sparsely populated islands.

Data centre operator New Jersey Fibre Exchange (NJFX) has launched a US-based carrier-neutral ‘meet me room’ (‘MMR’) inside Tata Communications’ international cable landing station in New Jersey (US). The data centre is connected to the landing station by a dedicated fibre line, and provides customers with direct interconnection without recurring costs on cross-connects. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium in January 2015, NJFX is currently building a tier-3 carrier-neutral data centre colocation facility in cooperation with Tata Communications, which is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in 2016. Seaborn’s Seabras-1 cable, the first direct subsea fibre-optic link between New York (US) and Sao Paulo (Brazil), is expected to land at this facility.

Germany’s DE-CIX has announced that its internet exchange point (IXP) in Palermo, Italy is now operational. The new IXP is located TI Sparkle’s Sicily Hub and is connected to all cable landing stations which utilise the facility. Meanwhile, Google and Limelight Networks are both planning to connect to the new Palermo exchange in the near future.

Finally, Global Capacity has expanded its backbone network, dubbed One Marketplace, with a 25-mile diverse fibre-ring route in Atlanta (Georgia), which links Global Capacity’s points of presence (PoPs) located within Equinix and Level 3 Communications’ respective data centres in the city. According to Chief Revenue Officer Ben Edmond, the expansion of the One Marketplace network in Atlanta will provide greater route diversity and increased capacity across the market.

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