Asia Global Crossing (Nasdaq: AGCX) announces the southern route of its Pacific Crossing, the first non-consortia, privately owned and operated fiber optic cable system to link the United States and Asia via Japan, will be connected December 31, 2000, marking the completion of the system's ring configuration. Asia Global Crossing becomes the only independent provider that can offer customers redundant trans-Pacific data transmission.
"Ring configuration is an important feature in subsea connectivity because it creates an automatic 'back-up' system, called a self-healing capability, that provides redundancy within a system. For instance, should an outage occur on the northern route of Pacific Crossing, data traffic would automatically and instantly be directed over the southern route, thus eliminating any potential latency or service interruption," said John Legere, chief executive officer of Asia Global Crossing. "Conversely, when systems that don't have a self-healing capability have outages, carriers and their customers must scramble to obtain alternate bandwidth to reroute their data traffic, which can result in substantial delays or costly down time.
Pacific Crossing is an approximately 21,000-km four-fiber-pair cable system that links the United States and Asia via Japan. The northern segment-connecting Ajigaura, Japan, and Harbour Pointe, Washington-has been in service since December 1999. The southern segment connects Shima, Japan to Grover Beach, California, and Grover Beach to Harbour Pointe. As part of the worldwide Global Crossing Network, an end-to-end managed system from East Asia to Eastern Europe, Pacific Crossing connects through these four landing stations to terrestrial networks in both the United States and Japan. This connectivity enables Asia Global Crossing and Global Crossing to offer customers city-to-city, not just shore-to-shore, connectivity, a networking solution that is in increasing demand from non-carrier multinational corporate customers.
Both the northern and southern routes will have an initial transmission capacity of 80 Gbps and, utilizing Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), will each be upgradeable to 640 Gbps, making Pacific Crossing the fastest trans-Pacific cable system. In addition to self-healing capability, Pacific Crossing's ring configuration allows for flexible telecommunications route switching. To ensure that bandwidth will always be available for redundancy needs, no more than 640 Gbps will be sold on Pacific Crossing, ensuring that another 640 Gbps will be available for back-up.
Unlike other submarine cable systems funded in traditional multiple carrier "club" consortia methods, the Pacific Crossing construction cost of $1.1 billion was borne exclusively by Asia Global Crossing (64.5 percent) and its partner in this venture, Vectant, Inc. (35.5Upercent), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marubeni Corporation. As the first-ever "privately" built and operated fiber optic ring between the United States and Japan, management was streamlined and construction time was greatly reduced.
Assets of Asia Global Crossing include a 64.5 percent share of Pacific Crossing-1, a subsea system connecting the U.S. and Japan; 100 percent ownership of East Asia Crossing, an approximately 19,500-kmAfiber optic subsea system that upon completion will link Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, and China, as regulations permit; 50 percent ownership in Hutchison Global Crossing, the second largest fixed line telecommunications service provider in Hong Kong; 49 percent ownership of Global Access Limited, a terrestrial fiber optic system linking the major business centers in Japan; and 60 percent ownership in Asia Global Crossing Taiwan, a joint venture with Microelectronics Technology Inc. that will establish arrangements for a terrestrial network in Taiwan to connect with East Asia Crossing.