New submarine cable links Australia and Hawaii

Not long ago a rash of submarine cable breaks garnered a great deal of response on the TechRepublic forums. I hope the mention of a brand new 5,500 mile submarine cable between Australia and Hawaii will also be of interest, as that is one long cable.

Not long ago a rash of submarine cable breaks garnered a great deal of interest here at TechRepublic, chiefly centered around Paul Mah's post "Severed submarine cables knock out Internet access to tens of millions." I thought it would be appropriate to mention something positive about submarine cables. A brand new Telstra-owned cable between Australia and Hawaii is now under test by the Australian company and Alcatel-Lucent. Kate McKenzie, group-managing director, Telstra Wholesale in a news release "Telstra's new submarine cable lands in Sydney" talked about the capacity of the new cable:

"The new cable, which will be landed at Tamarama Beach this week, can be scaled up to 1.28 Tbits/sec capacity between the two countries. At full capacity of 1.28 Tbits/sec, the cable is capable of carrying 160,000 concurrent high-definition television channels."

Alex Serpo of ZDNet Australia has several interesting images of the ship and cable in the photo essay "Photos: Australia's 5,500 mile Internet connection." I think the members will be especially interested in the cable pictures as we were discussing what they looked like and how they could be broken. I did not realize that they used a different cable when closer to shore to prevent breakage problems. The size difference between the two types is substantial.

Final thoughts

I wonder how much time it took to lay 5,500 miles of cable in the ship's cable spools? That is one long cable.


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Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

I am curious to learn if all that cable can fit on the ship's cable spools at one time or not. Anyone know?

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

was watching last nite ship laying gigantic pipes (210 miles) for nat gas operation. They at times have huge valve thing and they have to lift one roller at a time to let it pass while 650 tons pulls towards the ocean floor. They use erbium doped light amplifiers now on the long hauls, to re-inforce a soliton wave carrier. This way they don't have to turn the signals back to electricity every few hundred km. see article in sci-am 6+ years ago. It made such an impression they even did a star trek episode NG on the concept of self re-inforcing propagating wave in space.

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