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

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4 Nov 2022

Alaska Power & Telephone’s (AP&T’s) subsidiary AP&T Wireless (AP&T) has completed the installation of the SEALink submarine fibre-optic cable system, providing Prince of Wales Island with its first fibre link to continental North America and the world. The SEALink project includes the rollout of a 340km submarine fibre-optic cable from Prince of Wales Island (Petersburg) to Juneau, with an overland crossing on Mitkof Island through the community of Petersburg. The project will also comprise the deployment of local terrestrial networks which will provide high speed fixed broadband access to all premises in Kasaan and Coffman Cove in Alaska, beginning in 2023. The submarine cable is a core component of a regional fibre deployment project funded via a USD21.5 million grant from the USDA Rural Utilities Service ReConnect programme, and approximately USD7 million in private investment supplied by AP&T.

The Portuguese government has authorised Infraestruturas de Portugal to launch pre-contractual and contractual procedures necessary for the replacement of the submarine cables connecting mainland Portugal and the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira (CAM), with Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 104/2022. The new submarine CAM ring will have six pairs of fibre-optic cables in all segments, complemented by a pair of fibre from Madeira. Infraestruturas de Portugal will undertake and promote the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the submarine cable system between the territory of mainland Portugal and the CAM, while IP Telecom will carry out the integrated management of the cables that may be installed, under a sub-concession regime.

The Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) has been granted an extension to a special temporary authority (STA) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow the continued operation of the Bahamas 2 submarine cable, pending the submarine cable licence renewal for an additional 25-year term. The STA will expire on 23 April 2023. The 470km Bahamas 2 system connects with the domestic networks in the continental US and the Bahamas, operating successfully for 24 years pursuant to the cable landing licence granted in 1996. The Bahamas 2 is a common carrier submarine cable that extends from a landing point at Vero Beach (Florida) to Nassau (Bahamas), with an intermediate point at Eight Mile Rock (Bahamas). The system consists of five optical fibre pairs, with the capacity of each pair comprised of 16 100Gbps Basic System Modules (BSMs).

Elsewhere, AT&T Corp’s application for a STA to continue operation of the St. Thomas-St. Croix System while the FCC considers an application for another 25-year term for the cable system has also been approved. The new STA (granted on 25 October 2022) expires on 23 April 2023.

Arelion (formerly Telia Carrier) has announced that it has added a new diverse, high-capacity transmission route connecting Boston to Secaucus, providing connectivity in the US to Arelion’s 150+ PoPs and EU terrestrial extensions to customer end points. By providing backhaul to the Amitie submarine cable system through its fifth trans-Atlantic cable route, Arelion establishes Boston (US) as a DWDM service market. The Amitie cable system is expected to go live in Q2 2023 with a trans-Atlantic capacity of over 320Tbps, connecting Boston to Slough (UK) and Bordeaux (France).

Vertiv has completed the installation of Hormuud Telecom’s submarine cable landing (SCL) station in Somalia. While the precise location of the facility has not been released, the companies said the open-access SCL will accommodate various submarine cables.

A fault in the SeaMeWe-5 submarine cable system has caused degraded internet services in Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has confirmed. A release from Transworld to its partners in Pakistan says: ‘Due to the SeaMeWe-5 international submarine cable fault, we are currently experiencing service degradation in Pakistan. Our partners are working to resolve the issue on priority and are expected to complete work soon. We deeply regret any inconvenience caused.’

Lumen Technologies has agreed to sell its EMEA business – including terrestrial and submarine networks, network equipment and data centres – to Colt Technology Services for USD1.8 billion with an expected completion date of late 2023. The figure agreed represents an 11x multiple for the business’s estimated 2021 adjusted EBITDA. The transaction is subject to usual conditions including regulatory approvals in the US and other countries where Colt operates, as well as indemnities and purchase price adjustments.

International network service provider RETN has invested in a new long-haul DWDM route in Latvia, Riga-Daugavpils. At a length of 243.2km, the new route connecting Riga and Vilnius provides a round-trip time (RTT) of 4.3ms. By adding a fourth diverse route coming to Riga, RETN improves network redundancy both in the region and the Latvian capital. In August 2022 RETN launched its first cross-border route between Sweden and Latvia, Stockholm-Gotland-Riga, with a guaranteed RTT of just 6.07ms for Riga-Stockholm. Another long-haul route, Rezekne-Daugavpils-Vilnius, was implemented in late 2021.

CMC Networks has launched its dedicated internet access (DIA) solution IP Premier across 51 African countries, designed to accelerate the adoption of SD-WAN across Africa. CMC Networks’ DIA provides symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 10Gbps.

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