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

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24 Jul 2020

The four operators participating in the Manatua Consortium – Office des Postes et Telecommunications (OPT) in French Polynesia, Avaroa Cable Limited (ACL) in the Cook Islands, Telecom Niue Limited (TNL) in Niue, and Samoa Submarine Cable Company (SSCC) in Samoa – have revealed that the Manatua cable system is now certified ready for service (RFS). Despite disruptions from the global COVID-19 pandemic during the latter stages of the project, which restricted the movement of critical test resources, the Manatua system has been delivered on time and within the original budget. The 3,634km Manatua system comprises a two fibre pair trunk – each capable of carrying 10Tbps of data – from Apia to To’ahotu (French Polynesia), with branching units to Alofi (Niue), Aitutaki (Cook Islands, one fibre pair), Rarotonga (Cook Islands, three fibre pairs) and Vaitape (French Polynesia, one fibre pair). Edouard Fitch, President of French Polynesia, said: ‘I consider this cooperation as a fantastic technical advancement and a milestone in terms of connectivity for our Polynesian region, which will allow us to a broader connectivity to the World. This is an indication of our determination and a tangible action undertaken under the banner of the Polynesian Leaders Group. We should consider this project as a tremendous achievement and I wish to salute and acknowledge the unwavering support of the government of New Zealand (the Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade) who fostered this initiative four years ago.’

Verizon Communications, on behalf of its wholly-owned indirect subsidiary MFS Globenet, has notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the pro forma transfer of control of MFS Globenet’s interests in the Challenger Bermuda-1 (CB-1) cable system, the Gemini Bermuda system, and the Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN), in connection with an internal restructuring. Verizon, through its wholly-owned subsidiaries, owns the US landing stations and 100% of the US segments of the CB-1 and Gemini Bermuda systems; regarding the SCCN, MFS Globenet owns the US cable landing stations in Morro Bay (California) and Nedonna Beach (Oregon), and 100% of the US segment of the cable network, in addition to a 10.01% indirect stake in the non-US segments of the cable network. The restructuring occurred on 30 June 2020 and included the elimination of multiple companies in the Verizon ownership chain, as well as the conversion of certain companies from corporations to limited liability companies. Further, MCI International Inc (MCII) has notified the FCC of the pro forma transfer of its 12.81% interest in the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) Cable System to MCI International LLC. The pro forma assignment reflects the conversion of MCII from a corporation to a limited liability company. Due to the internal restructuring MCI Communications Corporation’s (MCI’s) 13.43% interest in the Japan-U.S. Cable (JUS) system was assigned to Verizon Business.

The Americas-I consortium has amended an application for a new cable landing licence to allow the continued operation of the Americas-1 cable for an additional 25-year term. The interest in the Amereicas-1 system held by Sprint Communications Company has been acquired by the Atlantic Telecommunications Operating Company (ATOC), thus increasing ATOC’s stake in the cable to 8.25%; subsequently, Sprint has withdrawn from the application.

AT TOKYO and RTI Connectivity (RTI) have announced the interconnection of AT TOKYO’s Chuo Data Center (CC1) with RTI’s transoceanic cables, including Japan-Guam-Australia North (JGA-N), * Japan-Guam-Australia South (JGA-S)* and SEA-US. Russ Matulich, RTI’s Founder and CEO said: ‘AT TOKYO is one of the most secure and technologically advanced data centres in the world and being the first subsea cable invited into CC1 is an honour. Our presence in AT TOKYO greatly expands our range of global connectivity options and capabilities. RTI is revolutionising global connectivity by fulfilling our promise to deliver network diversity, neutral connectivity, and operational efficiency across all telecom sectors and to customers searching for true value.’

The fibre-optic section linking the Republic of Congo to Gabon is now operational, following the repair of the 500km network between Pointe-Noire and Mbinda by Mamb Services, Agence Ecofin writes. Mamb Services was awarded the public service delegation contract for the management, marketing, operation and maintenance of the Congo-Gabon fibre-optic network after the Minister noted numerous shortcomings in its deployment in January 2020, including the deployment of optical fibre without protective sheaths and cables being exposed. Congo’s Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and the Digital Economy Leon Juste Ibombo commented: ‘The vandalised sections were all recovered, the breaks in the fibre-optic cable were repaired throughout the network, which made it possible to make the Pointe-Noire-Dolisie link usable and marketable again. Today, part of Congo Telecom’s traffic is on this network.’ The deployment of the optical fibre from the city of Pointe-Noire to the Gabonese border via Dolisie and Mbinda began in June 2015, with the project being part of the second stage of the Central African Backbone (CAB) initiative. The interconnection of the fibre-optic backbone networks deployed in the Republic of the Congo and Gabon was subsequently confirmed as being complete in March 2018.

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