African ISPs Survive Cable Cuts, Asian Projects Advance

March 1st, 2012 by · Leave a Comment

Several interesting items from the submarine cable industry yesterday that are worth a mention.

In East Africa, there have been a series of cable cuts lately with all or parts of TEAMS, EIG, SMW-3, and Eassy offline. In the past any one of these would have crippled the entire communications infrastructure for the region for weeks if not months. But not so anymore says Renesys, as ISPs in the region have been taking advange of all the new infrastructure builds of the last several years to improve their resilience. There is congestion, but East Africa is still online – quite a sea change really.

Meanwhile, Telegeography put out an item projecting an extended period of falling Intra-asian bandwidth prices as many new systems come online. Traffic growth within the region is also growing quickly, but with ASE, SJC, and APG systems all coming online in the next 2-3 years there will obviously be a lot of capacity hitting the market. While that will not be pain-free, it is an inevitable consequence of scale – and will bring prices further into line with those in the more mature transatlantic and transpacific markets.

Speaking of intra-Asian transport, regional network operator Pacnet said yesterday that it is expanding its 10G IP transit service into additional markets. The service is now available in Nagoya, Seoul, and Taipei, with Chennai scheduled for completion in the first half of this year. If intra-Asian pricing is disrupted as Telegeography projects, Pacnet may be on the front lines.  Not that they’ve ever been known to shrink from such duty.

And another route that looks set to see an explosion in potential capacity is that between New Zealand and the US.  Pacific Fibre and TE Subcom now say that they have completed the permitting study for their proposed 12,950km system, meaning they have gotten the project past folks like the Californian fisheries.  They are now moving toward the marine route study, with completion of the overall project still aimed for 2014.  Lots (including me) didn’t think this cable would get off the ground, but the powers that be in New Zealand are apparently quite serious about the project.

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Categories: Undersea cables

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