Pacnet, Pacific Fibre to construct new trans-Pacific submarine cable

Pacnet and Pacific Fibre have teamed up to build the Pacific Fibre submarine cable system that will connect Australia, New Zealand and the U.S.--the latest in a string of new submarine cable systems.

Estimated to cost $400 million, the Pacific Fibre Cable will consist of two fiber pairs that will carry 64 wavelengths. Initially, the total capacity of the cable will be 5.12 Tbps with 40 Gbps per wavelength, but upgradable to 12 Tbps with 100 Gbps wavelength technology.  

With landing stations in Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, the 13,600 km cable will deliver the most between these landing points to ensure low latency. Both Pacnet and Pacific Fibre will begin the cable vendor selection process soon with plans to announce the contract winner in the coming months.

"As Australia and New Zealand look towards deploying national broadband networks that will raise broadband penetration and access speeds, this new cable that we are building with Pacific Fibre will deliver the enhanced international connectivity that is essential to support these broadband initiatives," said Bill Barney, chief executive officer of Pacnet in a release. "This investment is also an integral part of our overall strategy to expand our subsea cable infrastructure into the Australasia region, to complement our pan-Asian and Trans-Pacific network coverage and boost broadband connectivity into Asia."

While the new cable will offer a host of new connectivity options, what makes Pacnet confident about the success of the new cable is the partnership approach. Because new Pacific Fibre Cable is being built on a partnership model, both Pacnet and Pacific Fibre will be able to own and operate their own fiber pair on the system, while sharing responsibility for cable supply contract in addition to operations and maintenance costs.

Such a partnership model has already worked well for Pacnet. Previously, Pacnet synched up with a consortium of international service providers, including Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, and SingTel, to build the $300 million Unity cable connecting Japan and the U.S.

For more:
- see the release here

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