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

7 Jul 2017

PNG DataCo is considering its options for a new submarine cable link which will connect Papua New Guinea to Australia, managing director Paul Komboi has informed the Post-Courier. The executive noted that the government has now reviewed previously preferred options, including an extension to the long-planned Interchange Cable Network 2 (ICN2), and has tasked PNG DataCo to provide two options that will be able to connect Port Moresby to Sydney. Mr Komboi admitted: ‘We currently do have an optical fibre submarine connection called the APNG-2, from Port Moresby to Sydney, but it is very limited in capacity, very expensive and very unreliable. That is the problem, and we need to fix that problem.’ He added that the APNG-2, which was certified ready for service (RFS) back in 2006, only has around two years of service left. A decision is expected imminently.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, French Polynesia’s Office of Post and Telecommunications (Office des Postes et Telecommunications, OPT) has issued a tender for the supply, installation and commissioning of landing stations which will host a planned submarine cable system linking Tahiti to the islands of Tuamotu and Marquesas. The deadline for the submission of tenders is 2 August 2017 (2pm Tahiti time). As previously reported by TeleGeography’s Cable Compendium, an international intergovernmental treaty for the deployment of a submarine cable linking French Polynesia, Niue, Samoa and the Cook Islands was signed in March 2017. The following month, the French government (on behalf of French Polynesia) signed an agreement covering the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the planned cable, dubbed Manatua.

On 3 July MainOne announced the completion of repair works on its submarine cable with a final splice taking place the previous day. In a statement issued by the company, CEO Funke Opeke described the outage as a ‘Force Majeure’, due to movement in the seabed. The fault, which occurred on 18 June, was located some 3,000km south of Portugal, in international waters outside Senegal.

Sticking with Africa, Internet Solutions (IS) has deployed its first PoP in Madagascar, and has commissioned a second in Zambia. Co-locating with Airtel Madagascar and NetOne in Zambia, the IS PoPs provide clients with access to local internet networks in each country without the need to identify and contract with local ISPs. IS now has 68 PoPs in 16 African markets, as well as a number of international PoPs.

China Telecom (CT) has announced new projects that will expand the company’s data centre capacity in Hong Kong, as well as its PoP network across North America, as it anticipates increased demand for trans-Pacific bandwidth. CT will build, operate and manage colocation areas for two of the new buildings, which are due to come on-stream in Q4 2017. CT has also expanded its Shatin data centre in Hong Kong with the addition of one new floor for increased server capacity. The latter opened to the market in April 2017. Meanwhile, China Telecom Americas (CTA) has widened its network coverage in North America with three new PoPs at Viawest’s Hillsboro, Oregon, data centre; the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) facility in Aurora, Illinois; and a third at Cologix’s Montreal, Quebec, facility.

Finally, in the US, Uniti Fiber has completed its previously announced acquisitions of Hunt Telecom and Southern Light. Going forward, both companies will operate under the Uniti Fiber brand in its fibre infrastructure segment. Uniti Fiber’s network now encompasses over 30,000 route miles and 1.1 million fibre strand miles, with 3,000 route miles of dark fibre presently under construction.

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