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

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23 Sep 2022

Avaroa Cable Limited (ACL) has selected Hawaiki Submarine Cable (Hawaiki) for the turnkey provision of international capacity from Samoa to Australia. Under the multi-million dollar deal, Hawaiki will provide international capacity to ACL from the Manatua cable termination point in Apia (Samoa) to Sydney (Australia). The turnkey solution combines multiple submarine links, including the Samoa- American Samoa (SAS) cable and the Hawaiki cable branch to Pago Pago (American Samoa). A state-owned enterprise of the Cooks Islands government and funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), ACL is a member of the cable consortium operating the Manatua cable, which has linked French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Niue and Samoa since July 2020. Mike Schwarz, CEO of Avaroa Cable, said: ‘ACL is very excited to have successfully achieved this key milestone and to now be able to offer this additional capacity to our wholesale customers. We see this investment as an important enabler to improve resilience and deliver more connectivity to meet the increasing demand by consumers in the Cook Islands. We believe this new partnership is going to greatly benefit businesses and the local community.’

Lumen Technologies is investing in a fibre pair on the Grace Hopper submarine cable system aiming to link New York (US) and Bude (UK). Grace Hopper will feature a main trunk from Lumen’s existing landing station in New York (US) to its landing facility in Bude (UK), and a branch connecting a single branching unit on the main trunk to the existing landing facility in Bilbao. The main trunk will have a total length of 6,354km and will consist of 16 fibre pairs, while the Spain Branch will stretch 837km featuring 16 fibre pairs. Each fibre pair will have a total design capacity of approximately 22Tbps (for a total design capacity of approximately 352Tbps). Google plans to commence commercial operations over the system in October 2022.

The 2,500km Philippine Domestic Submarine Cable Network (PDSCN) has landed in Siargao Island (Philippines). The cable deployment commenced in August 2022 and is scheduled to continue over the next nine months, with a ready for service (RFS) date of April 2023. The cable will comprise 24 segments connecting various islands in the Philippines. The USD150 million project is a joint undertaking between Globe Telecom, Eastern Communications and internet provider InfiniVAN.

SubCom is planning to dispatch a cable repair ship to Papua New Guinea in late September/early October, after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake on 11 September damaged the PIPE Pacific Cable-1 (PPC-1) system and terrestrial infrastructure belonging to PNG DataCo Limited (DataCo). A spokesperson for TPG Telecom told iTnews that cable repairs ‘will take multiple days to complete, due to the complexity of the break and the deep ocean depths that the repair teams must deal with.’ Earlier this month DataCo said that several breakages were detected between 17km and 170km outside of Madang (Papua New Guinea) on the PPC-1 and the Kumul Domestic Submarine Cable System. The cable damage affected services in Momase, Highlands and the New Guinea Islands Regions.

South Sudan and Djibouti have reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) related to fibre-optic interconnection between the two countries. On 19 September, the parties inked the deal to connect South Sudan’s capital, Juba, to Djibouti via Ethiopia, hopefully reducing the current high cost of internet access. According to the South Sudanese Ministry of Information, Communication Technology and Postal Services, the MoU will lead to the setting up of a technical team from the two countries to carry out the project which is deemed ‘of strategic importance’ for South Sudan.

Fiber-optic network services provider euNetworks Fiber UK has completed a new route between Basildon and London (UK) that connects the ICE data centre to Interxion LON1 & 2 and onwards to Slough. The more than 45km route includes 14km of hollowcore fibre from Lumenisity, the two companies say.

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Djibouti, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, South Sudan, United Kingdom, United States, Eastern Communications, euNetworks, Globe Telecom (incl. Innove), Google (Alphabet), Hawaiki Cable, InfiniVAN, Lumen Technologies (incl. Quantum Fiber/CenturyLink), PNG DataCo, SubCom