By Mar-Vic Cagurangan, Marianas Variety

HAGÅTÑA — The Federal Communication Commission has granted Docomo Pacific a license to land and operate a second fiber-optic submarine cable in Guam and the Northern Marianas, paving the way for the installation of the $25 million Atisa network project.

“Docomo Pacific is pleased to have obtained another important permit related to the Atisa submarine cable system. With the FCC approval in hand, the final permit required is from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Jonathan Kriegel, president and CEO of Docomo.

The optical fiber system, approximately 279-km long, will connect Guam with Saipan, Rota, and Tinian, a game-changer that is touted to improve connectivity among the islands and stimulate competition in the local telecommunication industry.

Kriegel said the marine lay is expected to take place between late March and mid-May and commercial service is expected to launch in June. “Construction of the shore based facilities to support the Atisa is well under way,” he said.

The Atisa system, which will have a design capacity of 4.8 terabits per second (Tbps), will increase the number of cell sites on Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

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By Richard van der Draay, Telecom Times

Southern Cross Cables has teamed with Hong Kong-based marine survey specialist EGS to survey the seafloor between Clovelly to Los Angeles, establishing the most suitable route for the US$350 million Southern Cross low latency 'NEXT' submarine cable.

According to Southern Cross Cables - which is owned by Telecom NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%) - the project will provide the highest capacity internet link for Australians using US-based Internet applications.

Telecom Times took an in-depth look around Geo Resolution's EGS survey vessel, ahead of its voyage to scope out the course of the planned sub cable linking Sydney to Los Angeles. The Geo Resolution will start work later this month, tracking  some 12,500 kilometres of ocean floor from Clovelly in Sydney to Los Angeles, while also linking up Auckland and New Zealand along the way.

The NEXT project is Southern Cross Cables' third high capacity link, slated for completion in 2019. "A typical project like this generally can take about a year to complete," Southern Cross Cable Network CEO Anthony Briscoe told Telecom Times.

Under the deal, EGS will survey the sea bed to enable the planned cable connection to traverse vast abysses such as the Tonga Trench the second-deepest point on Earth at a depth of 10,882m, treacherous terrain and the odd shipwreck. An EGS spokesman said the surveying contract would most likely take some six months to finalise, noting that uniquely, the firm is able to draft a survey report even before returning to port.

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By Radio New Zealand

Samoa is one step closer to getting faster, cheaper internet with the start on the Savaii component of the country's new submarine cable.

Construction of the 1,300 kilometre system will cost $US57.4million and will connect Upolu and Savai'i, to the Southern Cross Cable Network in Suva, Fiji.

The project was launched by the Samoa government with support from the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Government.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony Samoa's communications minister Afamasaga Rico Tupa'i said high speed internet was essential for improving the lives of ordinary Samoan people.

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By Times of Malta

A submarine fibre-optic cable linking Malta to Marseille in France would cost a maximum of €17 million – considerably less than anticipated, according to the executive chairman of the Malta Communications Authority Edward Woods.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna announced the government’s plans to have a submarine fibre-optic link between Malta and Gozo and another one linking Malta’s backbone to Marseille, France, in the Budget for 2017.

Malta’s telecommunication providers GO and Melita already have submarine cables – but all three go to Sicily, which Dr Woods said was not ideal.

“We are connected to only one country, Italy, and if anything happened there, whether it was natural, accidental or anything else, we would be stranded,” he told The Business Observer.

The authority sought advice from foreign experts and was pleasantly surprised to learn that it would actually be cheaper than anticipated as there are numerous submarine cables from east to west to which Malta could connect.

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By bdnews24.com

Bangladesh has been connected to the second submarine cable at Kuakata Submarine Cable Landing Station.

With this, the country will get an additional bandwidth of more than 1,500 GB, according to Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL).

"The link was officially set up at a meeting of the SEA-ME-WE-5 (South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5) in Istanbul, Turkey on Tuesday," said BSCCL acting managing director Abdus Salam Khan.

The test transmission has started but it will be available commercially once the transmission link from Dhaka to Kuakata landing station is completed, he said.

Seventeen countries of South Asia, South-East Asia, Africa and Europe are getting connected to SEA-ME-WE-5 under one consortium.

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By Daily Sun

Bangladesh is going to connect with the second submarine cable on February 21 to get another 1500 gbps bandwidth, as the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium is set to launch its global operation on this day.

The South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5), a consortium of 15 leading telecom operators from 17 countries, would announce its operation at a ceremony in Turkish city of Istanbul, BSS reports quoting officials.

Talking to BSS, Monwar Hossain, Managing Director of state-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) which is assigned to handle country bandwidth, said it's a great pride for the country as the consortium has decided to launch the cable on February 21, the International Mother Language Day.

"The second undersea cable would be the real redundancy that might allow Bangladesh to stay online always and start full-fledged international bandwidth trade," he added.

Mentioning that Bangladesh has now nearly 300 gbps bandwidth from its lone submarine cable, Monwar said: "We are going to get another 1500 gbps bandwidth from the second undersea cable."

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