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

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9 Feb 2018

US-based communications provider CenturyLink has announced the launch of its new fibre-optic route connecting Cali in Colombia with Quinto, Ecuador. The 585km network runs via Popayan, Ipiales and Pasto (all in Colombia) and Tulcan and Ibarra (Ecuador). The system has an installed capacity of 400Gbps and is interconnected to the 300km submarine cable branch linking the South American Crossing (SAC) system with a landing station in Buenaventura (Colombia). The SAC cable system, which is managed on a non-common carrier basis by Level 3 Communications’ subsidiary Global Crossing Telecommunications (GCT), links Saint Croix (US Virgin Islands) with Fortaleza (Brazil), Santos (Brazil), Las Toninas (Argentina), Valparaiso (Chile), Lurin (Peru) and Fort Amador (Panama).

The Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) has reduced the wholesale price of internet bandwidth by 15% to discourage imports from India and dispose of its huge amount of unused bandwidth, The Daily Star writes. BSCCL Managing Director Mashiur Rahman said that international gateway operators and ISPs will mostly benefit from the price cut, adding: ‘it will take some time for the reduction benefit to reach end users.’ The state-owned company has fixed the wholesale price at BDT310 (USD3.7) for each Mbps of bandwidth in its first submarine cable landing station in Cox’s Bazar, though the price will be less than BDT300 in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Gabon’s Ministry of Digital Economy (Ministere de l’Economie Numerique) has signed a contract with KT Corporation for the deployment of two new fibre-optic networks in the northern part of the country. The 528km project – which is part of the fourth stage of the Central Africa Backbone (CAB) project and the Backbone National Gabonais (BNG) programme – will comprise two fibre routes: a 411km network linking the city of Booue with Eboro (situated on the border with Cameroon) and Meyo Kye (Equatorial Guinea) via Koumameyong, Lalara, Mitzic, Oyem and Bitam; and a 117km branch from Oyan to Bifoun and Lamberene.

Elsewhere in Africa, Malawi’s Minister of Information and Communication Technology has revealed that the first phase of the National Fibre Backbone Project, which aims to connect the country’s 28 districts via 1,230km of cabling, has been completed, the Malawi News Agency writes. The project was launched in April 2017, and the construction of the first phase – including fibre routes from Mapanga to Chiradzulu and Zomba to Liwonde – started in July 2017. The USD23 million project seeks to integrate government operating systems and increase internet access, particularly in rural areas. The fibre-optic cables will be deployed by equipment vendor Huawei on power transmission lines owned by the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM). As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, in November 2016 the Chinese government agreed to provide Malawi with a USD21.7 million loan for its fibre-optic backbone project, following the inking of a framework agreement.

Zayo Group Holdings has disclosed plans for a new long-haul dark fibre network between Reno (Nevada, US) and Umatilla (Oregon, US) via Prineville (Oregon). The network expansion will add more than 600 route miles in the western part of the US and adds to the Portland-Umatilla route announced in 2017. The expansion creates a diverse route between Portland and other major cities on the west coast. Jack Waters, CTO and president of Fiber Solutions at Zayo, said: ‘The new route completes a piece of the puzzle that the Western US needs to connect the dots between content companies’ core data centre locations in a way no other carriers can provide … As more companies add data centres in Oregon and Nevada, Zayo is well positioned to provide them with high-capacity fibre infrastructure.’

Lastly, Telecom Italia’s international wholesale unit Sparkle has partnered with peering service provider France-IX to deliver Seabone, the company’s Tier 1 global IP transit service, to France-IX members. Sparkle is serving France-IX’s Paris and Marseille hubs via Seabone as part of this strategic agreement.

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