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Telstra backs two more subsea cables


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The two new subsea cable systems


(Image: Telstra)

Telstra has announced investing in two new Pacific submarine cable systems connecting Hong Kong with the West Coast of the United States, which the telco said would deliver lower latency than the currently used Asia-America Gateway (AAG).

The new Hong Kong Americas (HKA) subsea cable will land in both Morro Bay and Los Angeles in the US once complete in 2020, with Telstra to invest in a half-fibre pair to improve capacity between China, South-East Asia, and the US.

The Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), meanwhile, will stretch between Hong Kong and Los Angeles and is due to completed in 2019, with Telstra saying its investment is the equivalent of 6Tbps.

“Together with the current AAG cable, on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong-to-US route, one of the fastest-growing routes in the world for capacity demand,” group MD for Telstra Global Services and International David Burns said.

“Our investment in capacity on PLCN and HKA will also provide our customers with greater resiliency due to bypassing areas prone to natural disasters and offering two direct, alternative paths to the AAG cable which connects South East Asia to the US west coast via Hong Kong, Guam, and Hawaii.”

Telstra is similarly investing in Superloop’s Indigo subsea cable system, announced in April last year, which will connect Sydney, Perth, Singapore, and Jakarta and is being built alongside Google, Singtel, AARNet, Indosat Ooredoo, and Alcatel Submarine Networks.

The Indigo cable will span around 9,000km, with two fibre pairs and a design capacity of 18Tbps, and is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

Telecommunications carriers and consortiums have been racing to build out subsea cable capacity across the Asia-Pacific region, driven by the rapid increase in data usage globally.

Last week, the $350 million Hawaiki Transpacific Submarine Cable System reached the halfway point of its rollout across the Pacific Ocean.

The 15,000km Hawaiki cable will connect Australia and New Zealand to Hawaii and the US, with cable landings in Sydney, Australia, Oahu, Hawaii, and Pacific City, Oregon, already completed.

The New Zealand and American Samoa cable landings will be completed next, with the system also containing branching units for Fiji, Tonga, and New Caledonia.

Also last week, Vocus announced entering a AU$2.8 million agreement with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) to scope out the design, construction, and procurement of a subsea cable between Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands.

Other cables being built in the region include the Jupiter subsea cable; the Trident subsea cable; Vocus’ Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) and North West Cable System (NWCS); Southern Cross Cable Network’s NEXT cable; the Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG); the FASTER cable; and Superloop’s Hong Kong cable.

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