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

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14 May 2021

Vocus is planning to deploy a 2,000km high-capacity fibre link between Geraldton and Port Hedland in Western Australia by the end of next year. Vocus Chief Operating Officer Ellie Sweeney said that Project Horizon is designed to provide the ‘missing link … between Port Hedland, where [Vocus’] North West Cable System from Darwin lands, and Geraldton, where [the company’s] terrestrial network ends.’ The first stage of the project is now underway, with the executive adding: ‘Project Horizon has been part of our long-term network extension plans for several years, and the high-level design work has already been completed.’ Tenders for the construction and the fibre systems will be issued over the coming months: ‘Once those tenders have been concluded and required permits have been secured, we start digging … and laying fibre.’ The Horizon system will be designed to provide transmission capacity of 38Tbps per fibre pair. Certified ready for service (RFS) in September 2016, the North West Cable System connects Port Hedland and Darwin (with an additional landing site in Wurrumiyanga) and was designed to service mostly LNG rigs tapping the north-west shelf. Vocus acquired the system as part of its 2016 buyout of Nextgen Networks. Elsewhere, Vocus is pursuing plans to connect the North West Cable System to Indonesia. Sweeney said: ‘Vocus is also planning for a branch of the North West Cable System to Kupang in Indonesia, a second entry point into the huge Indonesian market complementing the Australia-Singapore Cable branch to Jakarta.’

GTT Communications and its indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries GTT Americas, GC Pivotal and Interoute US have notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of a pro forma intra-corporate reorganisation effective 10 April 2021, pursuant to which the intermediate ownership of GTT Americas, GC Pivotal, and Interoute US has changed. As part of the reorganisation GTT Americas issued two series of membership interest to replace the prior membership interests held directly by GTT Communications; GTT Communications directly holds 100% of the I Series membership interest, while R Series membership is held directly by GTT Apollo and indirectly by GTT Communications and its subsidiaries GTT RemainCo and GTT Apollo Holdings. GTT Communications has applied for the FCC’s consent to transfer the control of Interoute US to Cube Telecom Europe BidCo and anticipates that the I Series will be redeemed and liquidated following distribution of the net proceeds of the sale of Interoute US to GTT Communications. Through the R Series, GTT Apollo and GTT Communications will retain control of the business of GTT Americas and its subsidiaries, including GC Pivotal, that are not being transferred to BidCo. The reorganisation is pro forma, with GTT Communications remaining the ultimate parent of GTT Americas, GC Pivotal and Interoute US.

A repair ship has been dispatched to fix the Sulawesi Maluku Papua Cable System Packet-2 (SMPCS Packet-2) in Indonesia. PT Telkom Indonesia’s cable suffered a fault on the Biak-Sarmi section last month, disrupting internet services in Jayapura, the capital of Indonesia’s Papua Province. The 3,498km system linking eleven locations in Indonesia entered services in 2015.

Aqua Comms – the owner and operator of America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1), America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) and CeltixConnect-1 (CC-1) – and Telia Carrier have announced that the two companies have successfully completed a trial with Ciena to offer 400GbE commercial services between New York and Frankfurt. Aqua Comms provided the trans-Atlantic capacity and 400GbE service from New York to London, while Telia Carrier provided the ongoing terrestrial service from London to Frankfurt demonstrating that their traffic can be passed on seamlessly across their respective transmission networks and utilised on Telia Carrier’s IP Backbone with active 400G interfaces routing on both continents.

Infinera has announced today that Australia’s wholesale open-access broadband provider NBN Co has completed a successful proof of concept of XR optics-based point-to-multipoint coherent optical technology. The trial demonstrated XR optics’ compatibility within the nbn, a DWDM network spanning over 65,000km across Australia. Providing multiple 100Gbps of capacity subdivided into discrete subcarriers, XR optics enables dynamic capacity management and optical capacity optimisation.

Wholesaler WIOCC has extended its national hyperscale network with a further 30 PoPs along South Africa’s southern coastline following a ‘multi-billion Rand’ investment. The 30 additional PoPs are on a new 1,700km terrestrial link between Durban and Cape Town, bringing connectivity to coastal towns from Somerset West, Grabouw, Caledon and Swellendam in the Western Cape, to Doonside, Kingsburgh and Isipingo in KwaZulu Natal (KZN).

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