Submarine cable networks to grow 29 percent between 2014-2016, FCC says

Submarine cable capacity continues to rise, growing 36 percent a year between 2007 and 2014, says the FCC in its first "U.S. International Circuit Capacity Report."

As a host of new submarine cable networks like Seaborn-1 and Hawaiian Telcom's SEA-US go into service over the next year, the FCC expects submarine cable capacity to grow around 29 percent between 2014 and 2016.

According to the report, the top eight foreign landing points (in descending order) for U.S. international submarine cables are Colombia, Japan, the United Kingdom, Panama, Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, and Australia. 

Within the Americas, Atlantic, and Pacific regions, the Atlantic region has the largest fraction of non-activated capacity.

Today, about 60 submarine cables provide connectivity between the U.S. and Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as all connectivity between the U.S. and the rest of the world.

In developing this report, the FCC created an online filing system (, which streamlined the submission of data for carriers and substantially improved the Commission's ability to collect, review, and assess the circuit capacity data. 

The FCC has been stepping up its oversight of the submarine cable industry in the past year.

Previously, the FCC proposed new rules that would require submarine cable operators to report outages to the regulator, an initiative that could hold operators more accountable. Under its proposed rules, the FCC wants submarine cable operators to provide timely information on outages.

However, Verizon (NYSE: VZ), which takes part in a number of submarine cable consortiums, says the new rules could place burdensome requirements on submarine cable providers, particularly for service providers that run redundant submarine cable systems.

For more:
- see the release

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