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.