Construction of 9,500-km Japan-Guam-Australia Cable system begins

A consortium including RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI-C), AARNet Pty Ltd. (AARNet), and Google, along with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, and NEC Corporation (NEC: 6701) announced that construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia Cable system (JGA) has begun. With a design capacity of over 36 Tbps, the 9,500-km undersea fiber-optic cable system is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

A consortium including RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI-C), AARNet Pty Ltd. (AARNet), and Google, along with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), part of Nokia, and NEC Corporation (NEC: 6701) announced that construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia Cable system (JGA) has begun. With a design capacity of over 36 Tbps, the 9,500-km undersea fiber-optic cable system is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.

The consortium says that JGA will contribute to the necessary expansion of communications networks from Japan and Australia, to Asia and the U.S., enhancing network redundancy and communications reliability. JGA will also extend connectivity options in Guam.

JGA is being built using capital from the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan's ICT and Postal Services Inc. (Japan ICT Fund), as well as syndicated loans from NEC Capital Solutions Ltd. and other Japanese financial institutions. According to the consortium, JGA is being co-built by ASN and NEC.

The segment between Sydney, Australia and Piti, Guam, JGA South (JGA-S), is a consortium cable including AARNet, Google, and RTI-C. With RTI-C as the sole purchaser, the segment between the Minami-Boso, Japan and Piti, Guam, JGA North (JGA-N), is a private cable. JGA-N and JGA-S will both interconnect at GTA's newly built landing station in Guam.

"Hyperscale cloud providers and enterprise companies are fueling exponential data-growth between Asia, Australia, and the United States. These customers require alternative paths, enhanced quality of service, and cost-effective bandwidth solutions," said Russ Matulich, RTI-C's president and CEO. "By adding JGA to our existing cable investments, RTI is well positioned to serve these massive data-growth needs. JGA's unique design will also improve latency between Tokyo-Sydney, while greatly reducing provisioning timeframes."

Also collaborating with RTI-C and NEC on the Hong Kong-Guam Cable, Google expects to improve the performance and resiliency of services to Australia, as well as Asian destinations with submarine cable investments (see "Google details submarine network investments").

"New submarine cable systems are providing a much-needed boost to communications infrastructure into Australia," said Chris Hancock, AARNet's CEO. "AARNet's investment in JGA complements our investment in the INDIGO subsea cable system, providing connectivity into North and Southeast Asia to meet the substantial growth in bandwidth demand for science, research, teaching, and learning. This will allow Australian universities to have unconstrained access to meet the big data challenges of the future."

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