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

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7 Dec 2018

Tenerife-based Hemisphere Cable Company (HCC) has revealed plans to deploy the WASACE 1 submarine cable, which will directly link Europe and Latin America. This new system will connect Fortaleza (Brazil), the Canary Islands and Seixal (Portugal) with additional branches in Cape Verde, Madeira and Casablanca (Morocco). The new infrastructure will include a network operations centre (NOC) and a new data centre in the Canary Islands, from which subsequent routes are projected to West Africa, the Mediterranean and North America. The WASACE 1 submarine system – which will be built by NEC Corporation – will comprise eight fibre pairs for a total capacity of 144Tbps, with each pair featuring an upgradeable initial capacity of 18Tbps. The project is expected to be completed in 30 months, with a projected ready for service (RFS) date of Q2 2021. A second subsea cable system, WASACE 2 connecting the Canary Islands to South Africa, may also be deployed in the near future.

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council has announced that Vertiv will be building the AUD6.6 million (USD4.8 million) cable landing station for the Sunshine Coast International Broadband Submarine Cable (SCIBSC), which will connect to the Japan-Guam-Australia South (JGA-S) submarine cable. Vertiv won the tender to design and build the cable landing station after pledging to use local contractors for the project. The council has set aside AUD35 million to deploy the 550km cable, AUD15 million of which will be provided through the Queensland government’s AUD150 million Regional Growth Fund. The new extension is scheduled to land in the local government area at Maroochydore, situated around 100km north of Brisbane. The JGA cable is developed by a consortium including RTI Connectivity, AARNet and Google – in partnership with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and NEC Corporation. The 9,500km submarine fibre-optic cable system will deliver a design capacity of more than 36Tbps and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. JGA will comprise two distinct segments; JGA-S between Sydney, Australia and Piti (Guam) will be owned and operated by a consortium including AARNet, Google and RTI. JGA North (JGA-N), the segment between the Minamiboso (Japan) and Piti, is a private cable with RTI as the sole purchaser. Both JGA-N and JGA-S will interconnect in Guam at GTA’s newly built landing station.

Cable operator Basslink (BPL) has revealed that an independent report by Cable Consulting International (CCI) has found that the cause of the December 2015 cable outage is still ‘unknown’, ZDNet writes. TeleGeography notes that the Basslink submarine cable linking mainland Australia to the island state of Tasmania was damaged 98km from the Tasmanian coast on 20 December 2015. The submarine link went back into operation in June 2017, though in early 2018 a report claimed that the fault was caused by BPL exceeding its design limit, which then degraded the cable, a claim which was strongly denied by BPL. The Tasmanian government subsequently said in March 2018 that it will be seeking AUD122 million in compensatory damages from Basslink due to the months-long outage.

Zayo Group Holdings is extending and upgrading a new 500km long-haul fibre ring in the UK, which will provide access to the UK’s latest submarine cable crossings in both the Irish and North Seas. As part of the project, Zayo will increase the overall fibre count on its existing UK network and add two new unique coast-to-coast routes. The project is expected to be completed in less than twelve months.

Lastly, NJFX, which operates a cable landing station (CLS) as part of a Tier 3 carrier-neutral colocation campus, has revealed that Epsilon is using its facilities to launch a fibre-optic connectivity between Ashburn (Virginia, US) and Europe, as part of its Infiny SDN connectivity platform. Epsilon’s Global Network Fabric offers connections to more than 100 data centres in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

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Australia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Morocco, Portugal, United Kingdom, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Basslink Telecoms, Google (Alphabet), NEC, RAM Telecom International (RTI), Zayo Group