FLAG network expanded
The Fiber Optic Link Around the Globe, or FLAG, cable network is being expanded. Within the next 18 months, 120,000 64-kilobit-per-second channels are expected to form the largest fiber-optic undersea cable connection in the world--28,000 kilometers. However, two-thirds of the existing capacity remains unused. After construction, four-fifths will still be unused. Two optical fiber pairs with a transfer rate of 5 gigabits per second allow 600,000 simultaneous telephone calls, and 326 erbium-doped fiber amplifiers between Porthcurno, UK, and Miura, Japan, guarantee signal quality. In contrast to former international projects, FLAG is financed by private sources. More than 40 companies, including Deutsche Telekom AG in Berlin, have signed contracts to purchase FLAG transmission capacities. J.C. Parry, president of Nynex Network Systems, London, is responsible for commercialization of the project.