Another submarine cable system on a unique route is getting some spending money. Ocean Networks, which is developing the South America Pacific Link, said yesterday that it has secured mezzanine funding for the effort.
SAPL would link Manta, Ecuador with Oahu, Hawaii, a 9,400km system. There it would interconnect with other cables, offering South America much more direct connectivity to the entire APAC region. Other systems that land in Hawaii include Southern Cross, AAG, the southern leg of the Japan-US cable, and smaller cables hooking up various island paradises in the South Pacific that sound quite warm at the moment.
The bandwidth markets of South and Central America have been getting more and more attention in recent years, especially Brazil and Colombia. Yet bits to and from the continent from elsewhere in the world have almost always had to go north to the USA first.
There have already been efforts underway for a cable to the east connecting directly to Africa, but crossing the Pacific to the west is obviously a rather longer challenge. A direct link to Hawaii wouldn't free those bits from transiting US territory obviously, but it would certainly shave some milliseconds off the latency. Whether that's enough to get this project the rest of the way off the ground or not, we'll just have to wait and see.
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