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

25 Jul 2014

Global Cloud Xchange (GCX) [formerly Reliance Globalcom] has announced plans to deploy a 5,060km submarine cable between Mumbai, India and Singapore. The subsea system, named India Cloud Xchange (ICX), will allow the company to bypass existing terrestrial routes between Mumbai (west) and Chennai (east) – a route which is prone to outages – by circumventing the country’s coastline to link India’s west coast directly to Singapore. The ICX cable will be based on 100Gbps technology, with a four-fibre-pair system. In addition, the new cable will deliver termination into the Middle East, Europe and to the US east coast via interconnection with GCX’s existing Falcon, Hawk and FA-1 systems. The ICX cable will also have a branch landing at either or both of Trivandrum and Chennai. Submarine cable vendors and additional partners for system are being finalised, and the awarding of the supply contract will be announced by GCX by the third quarter of 2014. The ICX cable is expected to be ready for service in Q2 2016.

BT has begun deploying a fibre-optic undersea cable to the Isles of Scilly to bring broadband services to the islands, as part of a GBP3.7 million (USD6.3 million) initiative. The cable is being landed at Porthcressa Beach on St Mary’s, the largest of the five Scilly islands, and will then be connected to BT’s island-wide network. According to technology website v3.co.uk, the connection runs from the mainland at Land’s End down to the Isles of Scilly and uses an old, disused internet cable that used to run between Spain, Cornwall and Ireland. A cable ship, the 12,000-tonne Resolute, was stationed off St Mary’s this week to put the cable in place, having spliced a 100km section of the old cable to cover the distance between the UK mainland and the islands. Residential fibre services are likely to be available on the Isle of Scilly before the end of the year.

TE SubCom has announced the commencement of the new Hibernia Express submarine cable system. The 4,600km cable will provide the lowest-latency fibre-optic path between New York and London, connecting Halifax, Nova Scotia and Brean, UK, with terrestrial fibre deployed to extend connectivity to the major metro areas. The Hibernia Express will initially launch with 100Gbps transmission capacity using TE SubCom’s C100 SLTE platform. It will be a six-fibre-pair submarine cable, with a portion of the fibre optimised for lowest latency and a portion optimised for 100Gbpsx100Gbps design capacity. The total cross-sectional design capacity of the cable will be more than 53Tbps.

US-based Google Fiber is looking to bring its 1Gbps-capable fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) project to the UK, The Daily Telegraph reports. The search engine giant has reportedly conducted talks with UK-based fibre firm CityFibre with regards to possible ways of extending its service into a European country. However, it is thought that no direct tie-up between the two companies is on the cards, due to CityFibre’s existing partnership with satellite and fixed broadband provider BskyB. Undeterred, Google is thought to be exploring other connectivity options in the UK.

Virginia, US-based XO Communications has announced the deployment of Infinera’s DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform, which is capable of delivering high bandwidth 100Gbps services across the telco’s nationwide network. XO Communications is a nationwide provider of advanced IP communications, intelligent networking and cloud computing services for business, large enterprise and wholesale customers.

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