Internode has announced a new international link that is expected to boost its network capacity to the US by 40 per cent. The link will be provided by Australia-Japan Cable (AJC), and will run in conjunction with Internode's current fibre-optic link on Southern Cross Cable.
Internode's five-year agreement with AJC will provide an additional 1.2Gbps of bandwidth on top of the 3Gbps the network currently gets from Southern Cross Cable. As the AJC link can be easily upgraded up to 4.8Gbps, it also acts as a rapid expansion path that Internode expects it will need to support high-speed ADSL services planned for launch next month.
New ADSL1 plans running as fast as 8Mbps will be launched alongside the AJC link on January 10 next year. Although the high speed services have been available via Telstra since early November, the ISP is delaying the release of any new plans until it is sure of having enough capacity to take on new customers.
"Our growth rate is just massive at the moment," said Internode's managing director Simon Hackett. "We're not out of capacity at the moment, but if we accelerate our sign-up rate even more with those new plans, we may actually run out of what we have. We're just being prudent about it, just making sure we deliver the performance our customers bought."
Besides increasing the capacity of the network, the additional redundancy provided by the AJC link will also act as an alternative route which will allow the network to run uninterrupted in case of any failures in the Southern Cross Cable system.
"Most ISPs almost exclusively use the Southern Cross Cable network, and it's a great network, but there can be certain sorts of failures that can take the entire system out," Hackett said. "So now we're going to use two cable systems. It's like running mirrored hard drives; we're making sure we treat our customers' network as they would want us to - [with] extremely high reliability.
As it will be routed through Japan, Hackett said the AJC link could potentially also provide Internode with a path into Asia directly. The company is currently looking at doing a direct break out in the link from Japan into Asia, to improve network performance for customers accessing Asian resources.
"We have a significant amount of Asian influence and Asian population in Australia, and a lot of those people want to interact back with resources in Asia," Hackett said. "We're starting to see it [demand for a link to Asia]; it's not enormous yet, but this gives us the ability to grow."