Let’s leave behind the main routes for the moment and look at sever interesting news items from much further away:
One of the most remote pieces of the UK will be getting big bandwidth via some impressive creativity. BT is going to be moving and repurposing a decommissioned cable that used to hook up the UK with Ireland and Spain to bring fiber to the Isles of Scilly. No, not Sicily, Scilly – they’re about 28 miles off the southwest tip of Cornwall where they’ve been slowly sinking into the Atlantic for thousands of years. The 2,200 residents on five islands have made do with a radio link, but will soon have far more potential bandwidth than they will know what to do with.
In Pakistan, Wateen Telecom says it has been awarded a PKR440M ($4.5M) project to build out fiber in Sindh, the country’s southern province. The USF grant will help pay for 1,037km of new fiber network connecting 17 previously unserved cities and towns. Wateen operates both fiber and WiMAX networks in Pakistan, and is owned by the Abu Dhabi Group.
Iraq’s ITPC is working on an upgrade of its wireline network to a next-generation IP platform, and has selected Ericsson to help them make it happen. The Swedish vendor had already helped build the company’s core network, and the expansion project will enable it to reach four million more subscribers. It’s also a step on the path toward LTE at some point, but Iraq’s telecom sector is still playing catch-up on so many fronts.
South Africa’s Teraco Data Environments has hooked up its NAPAfrica peering service to the AMS-IX exchange in Amsterdam. AMS-IX has been steadily expanding its international connectivity lately, and adding a link to South Africa fits in well with those plans. For its part, Teraco can now use the link to offer access to more than 550 IP networks, helping to lower the barrier to big bandwidth in the region still further. In bandwidth terms, Africa gets closer to the rest of the world every day.
And finally, SEACOM is upgrading its submarine network with the help of Ciena’s 650 Packet-Optical platform and its OneControl Unified Management System. The deployment will improve connectivity at key landing points for SEACOM in India, Egypt, Dijbouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa and will use 40G with an upgrade to 100G in the wings of course. Hard to believe that SEACOM is in its fourth year of operation already.
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