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

15 Feb 2019

Equinix has announced that Google will land its Curie submarine cable in the Equinix LA4 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centre in El Segundo, California (US). The four fibre-pair network, which is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2019, will span over 10,000km and will link Los Angeles (US) to Valparaiso (Chile), and will include a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama. The system is being deployed by SubCom.

Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Council has revealed that work is underway on 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.

An Environmental Impact Assessment process is currently underway for the installation and operation of the Meltingpot Indianoceanic Submarine System (METISS) cable system set to land at Pipeline Beach in Amanzimtoti (South Africa), the Southcoast Sun writes. All interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 4 March 2019. The 3,500km submarine cable is aiming to link the three island nations of Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion with South Africa and is expected to be RFS in 2019. The project, which was initiated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), will benefit from the financial backing of the EU and the French Development Agency (Afd). The project is being developed by a number of telecoms operators – Telma and Blueline of Madagascar; Emtel and CEB FiberNET of Mauritius, Zeop and SFR of Reunion, and Canal+ Telecom of France.

Infinera has announced that Grupo de Telecomunicaciones de Alta Capacidad (GTAC), a provider of high-capacity telecoms services in Mexico, has deployed the Infinera mTera universal switching and transport solution to scale long-haul service capacity and increase efficiency in its high-speed fibre-optic backbone network throughout Mexico. The mTera deployment interconnects major cities across the country, including Mexico City, Estado de Mexico, Guadalajara, Puebla, Hermosillo, Queretaro and Ciudad Juarez. The mTera network architecture supports service connectivity at speeds up to 200Gbps and delivers secure transport over GTAC’s existing third-party WDM transmission infrastructure.

Lastly, the former CEO of Anchorage-based Quintillion Subsea Holdings, which oversees an Arctic fibre-optic project in Alaska, has pleaded guilty to fraudulently persuading two New York investment companies to commit more than USD250 million to the project, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. Quintillion owns and operates the Quintillion Subsea Cable System – a 15,000km intercontinental submarine fibre-optic system aiming to connect Europe and Asia via the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic – with the first section of the network entering services on 1 December 2017. The Alaskan portion of the project comprises a terrestrial link from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay (in operation since spring 2017), while the subsea section consists of a 1,850km segment linking the Alaskan communities of Nome and Prudhoe Bay with four branches into Kotzebue, Wainwright, Point Hope and Barrow. The project was originally led by Canadian telecoms firm Arctic Fibre, although Quintillion acquired the assets of that company in 2015. Between May 2015 and July 2017, however, former Quintillion CEO Elizabeth Pierce persuaded the investors to support Quintillion’s fibre-optic system by providing eight forged broadband capacity sales contracts and related order forms. ‘Certain of the fake revenue agreements never existed at all, while others were falsified versions of genuine revenue agreements,’ the Department of Justice said. Pierce is scheduled to be sentenced on 16 May.

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Australia, Chile, Guam, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mexico, Réunion, South Africa, Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), Blueline (Gulfsat Madagascar), Emtel, Equinix, Google (Alphabet), NEC, RAM Telecom International (RTI), SFR Reunion, SubCom, Telecom Malagasy (Telma), Zeop (Reunion)