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

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24 Nov 2017

The Samoa Submarine Cable Company-backed Tui-Samoa undersea link has been brought onshore at Wallis – one of the islands that makes up the French collectivity of Wallis and Futuna, Radio New Zealand reports. The cable should be extended to Futuna by the end of the week, but is not likely to be ready for service (RFS) until 2018, the report adds. In addition to Wallis and Futuna, the 1,693km submarine cable will link Fiji and Samoa.

China Telecom and TransTeleCom (TTK) of Russia have developed what they claim is the first transit telecommunications route connecting China and Europe based on 100G Ultra Long Haul (ULH) DWDM technology. As part of the project, the companies have constructed a new 100Gbps gateway interface on the border between the two countries, linking the Chinese city of Manzhouli and the Russian city of Zabaikalsk.

Sticking with Russia, the Rostelecom Board of Directors has approved the signing of a contract for the construction of a previously announced submarine cable link to the Kuril Islands. According to ComNews, the work will be carried out by Tech Company Huawei, a Russian subsidiary of the Chinese vendor of the same name. According to Rostelecom, the total price of the contract with Huawei is RUB2.98 billion (USD51.1 million). As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, the 940km backbone network – which will boast a total capacity of 40Gbps – is aiming to connect the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in the Sakhalin region with the towns of Kurilsk and Yuzhno-Kurilsk, as well as the settlement of Krabozavodskoye. The Kuril Islands, which are technically situated in Sakhalin Oblast, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately 1,300km north-east from Hokkaido, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean.

Over in Latin America, ZTE Corporation and Telefonica Mexico (Movistar) have announced that the telco’s co-established ‘beyond 100G’ optical transport network (OTN) was formally put into commercial application today. The network covers three core cities: Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, and is expected to meet the operator’s high-traffic demands for the next five to ten years.

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom has launched a fresh attempt to force BT to offer dark fibre access (DFA). In doing so, the watchdog is revoking measures it applied as part of its 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review (BCMR), and imposing a set of temporary measures instead. The change of tack follows a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) decision in July that ruled Ofcom’s BCMR included inaccurate market definitions. That ruling led to BT scrapping its plan to introduce dark fibre access, which had previously been mandated by Ofcom. The new consultation runs until 29 December 2017.

Finally, also in the UK, SSE Enterprise Telecoms has signed an agreement with Thames Water to deploy fibre broadband cables throughout the utility’s sewage pipes. The contract will enable the distribution of fibre broadband cables throughout Thames’ network of sewage and wastewater pipes in south-east England. SSE said that as a direct consequence of the aforementioned CAT ruling that allowed BT’s Openreach unit to scrap plans to open up its dark fibre network to rival providers, it had been forced to seek ‘new and creative’ ways to enable connectivity.

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