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

26 Aug 2016

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has revealed that the Republic of Palau’s link to the SEA-US submarine fibre-optic network system will be in operation by the end of next year, the Guam Daily reports. The USD30.19 million project will be partly funded by the ADB, with USD25 million of it provided by the bank. The ADB’s funding forms part of its ‘North Pacific Regional Connectivity Investment Project’. The 15,000km SEA-US submarine cable will link Manado (Indonesia) to Los Angeles (US) via Oahu (Hawaii) and Piti (Guam), with a fibre-optic cable branch to Davao. The cable – which is scheduled to be ready for service (RFS) in Q4 2016 – will provide an additional 20Tbps capacity, connecting Indonesia and the Philippines to the US with 100Gbps technology. Currently, Palau relies on satellite links for its international bandwidth.

Auckland-based submarine cable operator Hawaiki Submarine Cable has selected carrier-neutral data centre and cloud services provider DRFortress as its landing and operating partner in Hawaii. Gina Bohreer, senior vice president (North America) of Hawaiki, said: ‘In 2015, we made the decision to invest substantially in Oahu and purchased land in Kapolei to build our cable landing station, which will be the first open-access station in Hawaii. The next step was to select the right partner … to help us build and operate the station.’ The new cable will have landing stations at Oregon (US), Whangarei (New Zealand), Sydney (Australia) and Oahu (Hawaii), and will allow for optional connectivity to Pacific islands along the route utilising TE SubCom’s optical add/drop multiplexing (OADM) nodes. Once completed, the roughly 14,000km cable will deliver more than 30Tbps of capacity via TE SubCom’s C100U+ Submarine Line Terminating Equipment (SLTE). The system is expected to be ready for service (RFS) by mid-2018.

Elsewhere, Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) and the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) have completed a 100Gbps upgrade to the Southern Cross Trans-Pacific Optical Research Testbed (SXTransPORT) dual submarine fibre-optic links, which connect Sydney (Australia) to the US. The upgrade boosts bandwidth on both SXTransPORT links from 40Gbps to 100Gbps, to accommodate the growth of traffic over the AARNet network. The partnership has also secured broadband connectivity for several isolated Pacific Island countries, including Fiji, Tonga and the Marshall Islands.

The Asia-American Gateway (AAG) submarine cable route – which suffered a fault 90km from the landing station in South Lantau (Hong Kong) on 2 August – has now been repaired, with internet services in Vietnam said to be back to normal, news source Vietnam Net writes. AAG disclosed that the issue was a short circuit, rather than a cut caused by the Nida storm, as previously thought.

A fault in the International Terrestrial Cable (ITC) network has affected broadband connections in some areas of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka. Fiber@Home’s Chief Strategic Officer Sumon Ahmed Sabir told bdnews24.com that cables of four ITC operators – including Fiber@Home, Asia Alliance Communication, NovoCom and Mango Teleservices – were cut in Kushtia earlier this week, adding that repair work has already started. The country awarded six ITC licences in January 2012 for the installation of international terrestrial cables to provide additional connectivity and redundancy, as an alternative to its sole link to the international submarine cable SeaMeWe-4, managed locally by the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL).

Strome Fiber Holdings has acquired all of the network and colocation assets of Allied Fiber’s south-east network subsidiary AF-Southeast, which were put up for auction last month, as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection process. Strome acquired a contiguous dark fibre network that extends from Atlanta (Georgia) to Miami (Florida), in addition to all AF-Southeast customer contracts and network and vendor agreements. Strome Networks owns and operates a dark fibre network from Miami to Jacksonville, with over 110,000 optical miles of available capacity, a Georgia dark fibre network (63,000 optical miles) from Jacksonville to Atlanta, and eleven Type-II data and colocation facilities along the route. All former AF-Southeast customer contracts were assumed in the asset purchase agreement, along with all key network and vendor agreements. The transaction was completed on 1 August 2016.

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