Undersea Upgrades Spread Bandwidth Far and Wide

December 15th, 2009 by · Leave a Comment

It seems like there’s so much bandwidth news these days underneath the waves, but perhaps it’s just that there was so little for many years.  It’s not just the big ones, lots of hard to reach places are getting fiber.  Last week the Asia America Gateway (AAG) came online commercially, bringing the first direct connection between North America and the southeast Asian nations of Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Singapore, and Malaysia.    No more routing everything through Hong Kong and hoping for no earthquakes! 

In northern Africa this week, Tunisia got its own bandwidth boost with the opening of the Hannibal cable.  It’s not a long cable of course, Sicily is only 170km away and the entire project took only 68 days.  But the extra 3.2Tbps of potential capacity and the direct connection to Interoute’s pan-European backbone will mean a lot to them, being 7 times what they have had access to before now.  And Italy doesn’t mind I’m sure, given that one can’t send elephants over fiber just yet (EoIP).  

Further south and east, France Telecom’s Orange has inaugurated the LION cable.  That’s the Lower Indian Ocean Network, and it hooks up the islands of Madagascar, Mauritius, and Reunion, which to those of us in the USA is about as remote as it gets.  With total design capacity of 1.28Tbps at their disposal, they would seem to have enough for a while.  Of course, it would be better if the cable actually hooked up to the rest of Africa, and therefore they may land in Mombasa as well eventually to hook up with SEACOM.

And in the Pacific, Telstra has announced that it will double the capacity of its Endeavour cable, which connects Sydney and Hawaii.  The cable is only a year old, and had only initially operated with 80Gbps of capacity.  That will now be doubled to 160Gbps, with plenty room for more given the maximum design capacity of 1.28Tbps.

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Categories: Undersea cables

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