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Construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia Cable System has officially commenced, with the 9500-kilometre fibre optic undersea cable designed to deliver a capacity of more than 36 terabits per second (Tbps).

The cable — scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2019 — is being built by a consortium that includes RTI Connectivity, AARNet and Google, together with Alcatel Submarine Networks, part of Nokia, and NEC Corporation.

The consortium says JGA will further enhance and contribute to the much-needed expansion of communications networks from Japan and Australia, to Asia and the US, improving network redundancy, ensuring highly reliable communications, and expanding onward connectivity options in Guam.

RTI-C's investment in JGA will be built utilising capital from the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan's ICT and Postal Services (Japan ICT Fund), along with syndicated loans from Japanese financial institutions, including NEC Capital Solutions.

Russ Matulich, RTI-C's president and chief executive, acknowledged this important milestone. "Hyperscale cloud providers and enterprise companies are fuelling exponential data-growth between Asia, Australia, and the United States. These customers require alternative paths, enhanced quality of service, and cost-effective bandwidth solutions.

“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. Finally, RTI is grateful for NEC and ASN's collaborative and innovative approach, making commercial service likely in late 2019."

Chris Hancock, AARNet's chief executive, said, "New submarine cable systems are providing a much-needed boost to communications infrastructure into Australia. 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."

JGA is being co-built by ASN and NEC. JGA South, the segment between Sydney and Piti, Guam, is a consortium cable including AARNet, Google and RTI-C. JGA North, the segment between the Minami-Boso, Japan and Piti is a private cable with RTI-C as the sole purchaser. Both JGA-N and JGA-S will interconnect in Guam at GTA's newly built landing station.

Philippe Piron, ASN's president, said, "We are proud to work with RTI, AARNet and Google on the JGA project, which will build on ASN's state-of the art technology to further provide high-capacity connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region and the reinforcement of our local presence.

“This new system adds to the recent successes ASN has achieved in the region and demonstrates our commitment in supporting operators and content providers to cope with their end-users' requirements."

Toru Kawauchi, general manager of NEC's Submarine Network Division, said, "We are honoured to be selected once again by RTI-C to construct their third subsea cable. While both SEA-US and HK-G will provide horizontal East-West connectivity across the Pacific, JGA will now provide the much-needed vertical North-South connectivity, enabling high capacity communications to reach all corners.

“Furthermore, JGA will be the second project after HK-G to be co-financed by the Japanese Government-led Japan ICT Fund, and the third project supporting RTI's investment after SEA-US and HK-G for the Japanese loan syndicate. We wish to further utilise these funds for many more cables in the future."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

 

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