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10 January 2013
| Guy Matthews
Submarine cable projects that address small communities don’t always make the headlines, but nevertheless have the ability to transform lives through the power of fibre connectivity.
A great deal of fanfare inevitably attends the launch of a
major submarine network. The lighting of an IMEWE or an EASSy
is, quite understandably, the subject of much press coverage,
amid talk of important stimulus for developing economies in
need of either added cable diversity or increased international
The rationale for these multi-terabit projects tends to speak
for itself. Less obvious at times is the business case for the
dozens of smaller fibre launches that take place largely
unheralded each year.
In fact, outside of the often very small communities these
cables are built to support, virtually no attention is
Between them, though, these smaller systems are quietly
filling in the digital gaps on the world map, empowering
populations that have been marginalised by reliance on
high-priced satellite connectivity for decades.
Here we examine a sample of three of the less celebrated
submarine projects of the past...
Sea Fibre Networks
Alcatel-Lucent has signed a contract with the Tasman Global Access (TGA) consortium – Spark New Zealand, Telstra and Vodafone – to build the subsea cable between New Zealand to Australia.
Australia’s Telstra has confirmed it is in talks to acquire subsea cable operator Pacnet, in a deal with an estimated price tag of US$1 billion.
Global Cloud Xchange (GCX) is to provide international connectivity services for Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).
Zayo is to expand Ark Data Centres’ connectivity under a new agreement.
UK mobile operator EE has pledged to provide 1,500 rural communities in the country with 4G by 2017, using newly tested micro-network technology.