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

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25 Mar 2022

AquaComms, Bulk Fiber Networks and Meta (Facebook) have completed the construction of the so-called North Atlantic Loop, comprising the Havhingsten/CeltixConnect-2 (CC-2) and Havhingsten/North Sea Connect (NSC) cable segments. The submarine system was built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and offers diversity avoiding congested paths across the English Channel and provides what the partners claim is ‘the lowest latency between Ireland, UK and the Nordics’. The Havhingsten end-to-end system is an aluminum conductor powered submarine cable system; it comprises the UK-Ireland section, which crosses the Irish Sea from Loughshinny (north of Dublin in Ireland) to Squires Gate Lane (south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK); the cable route also includes two branches into the Isle of Man at Port Grenaugh and Port Erin. Further, the UK-Denmark section crosses the North Sea and links Newcastle and Denmark; the CC-2 and NSC segments are connected via a terrestrial segment in the UK. Subsequently, AquaComms announced the launch of CC-2 and NSC. Chris Bayly, CCO of Aqua Comms, commented: ‘The addition of these two new regional systems mark an important milestone for Aqua Comms. By connecting Ireland, the UK and the Nordics, Aqua Comms is bringing its industry-leading connectivity services to these key growth markets whilst also enhancing its Trans-Atlantic footprint and connectivity between the US and Europe.’

Peru’s National Telecommunications Programme (Programa Nacional de Telecomunicaciones, Pronatel) has launched a tender for the operation and maintenance of the 13,600km National Fibre Optic Backbone (Red Dorsal Nacional de Fibra Optica or RDNFO). Offers can be submitted until 11 April 2022, with the winner scheduled to be announced on 13 April. Interested parties must have at least eight years of experience in similar services in nine regions of the country. The RDNFO was previously managed by Azteca Comunicaciones, though the operator submitted a proposal in early 2020 to terminate its concession early by mutual agreement. Negotiations between Azteca and the Ministry of Transport and Communications (Ministerio de Transportes y Comunicaciones, MTC) were unsuccessful and in July 2021 the ministry unilaterally ordered the cancellation of the licence, to take effect from early 2022.

An inauguration ceremony was held in Noumea to mark the landing of the new submarine cable system in New Caledonia, local news source la1ere.francetvinfo.fr writes. The new system will comprise two parts – the international section of the system (dubbed Gondwana-2) will be deployed between New Caledonia and Fiji, while a domestic cable called Picot-2 will link Lifou, Mare, Yate, Iles des Pins and Grande Terre. New Caledonia’s Office des Postes et Telecommunications de Nouvelle-Caledonie (OPT-NC) selected Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to deploy the system in April 2020. Antoine Poulain, marine project manager at ASN, explained: ‘Now that we have pulled the cable out to the beach, we are going to connect a hawser further on the cable. This will allow us to bring back the necessary slack in the cable, which will go into the connection chamber. Once in the connection chamber, we will carry out tests, then we will sink the cable by removing the buoys, once the cable is secure on the bottom, we will be able to carry out tests and check that there is no problem on the cable. Splicers will be on site to make the connection with the terrestrial cable which has already been connected to the Ouemo station.’

Angola Cables has confirmed the deployment of a PoP in Miami which serves as an international cross-connectivity point between the US, Latin America, Europe and Africa. Angelo Gama, CEO of CEO Angola Cables, said: ‘This is a game changer for those enterprises looking to expand their sphere of influence without the need for major capital investments into infrastructure and facilities.’ The Miami PoP enables Angola Cables the root data traffic via three submarine networks, including the recently upgraded Monet cable, which offers connections into Latin America, Africa and Asia, with a cross-link to Africa via the South Atlantic Cable System (SACS), while connections into Europe and Asia are achieved via a direct connection to the EllaLink cable.

Gulf Bridge International (GBI) has deployed Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE) technology to increase capacity on GBI’s Smart Network. Infinera’s ICE technology deployed across GBI’s submarine and terrestrial networks equips GBI to deliver reliable, ultra-high-speed capacity to its customers.

The Department of Homeland Security has notified the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that it is reviewing the application filed by AT&T Corp for the renewal of the St. Thomas-St. Croix System for national security issues and has requested that the FCC defer action until it completes its review. Thus, the application is being referred to the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector for its views on any national security or law enforcement concerns.

A request was filed for special temporary authority (STA) by Bahamas Telecommunications Company Limited (BTC) to continue operation of the Bahamas 2 cable system while the FCC considers an application for another 25-year term for the cable landing licence.

Seaborn has confirmed that Ethernet, IP and wave capacity over the Seabras-1 cable system linking Brazil and the US is available from the NJFX cable station campus. From NJFX, the system can bypass New York City, Newark, Philadelphia or any other potential network congestion point in North America by using the 25 physical network operators connected at NJFX.

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