AT&T and NTT join Trans-Pacific cable consortium

New partnership provides additional cable link to Japan

The Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) Consortium yesterday announced two new members to the group which is aggressively designing and constructing an 18,000 km next-generation fibre-optic submarine cable between the Asia Pacific and the United States.

Construction began 15 months ago and the new members are AT&T and NTT Communications Corporation.

The six original charter members include China Netcom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom and Verizon Business.

AT&T and NTT Communications Corporation signed construction and maintenance agreements earlier this month to participate in the TPE Consortium.

With the addition of NTT Communications, the TPE cable will add a subsea cable link to Japan.

TPE landing sites are also located in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States.

The TPE cable is the first multi-terabit optical cable directly linking the US mainland and East Asia.

Using cutting-edge technology, the cable has a design capacity of up to 5.12 terabits per second (Tbps).

Internet, video and data traffic has been growing at an exceptional pace over the past few years.

The number of broadband Internet users along with the average size of the content needed by users has dramatically increased the amount of Internet traffic around the world.

Enterprise and large-business users also require higher speeds and greater capacity on network routes to deliver voice, video and data across the globe as they continue to expand operations globally.

The TPE will support current and future needs for high-speed traffic, as well as enhance reliability by securing route diversity from other submarine cables between the Asia-Pacific region and the US.

The segment to be added as a result of NTT joining the TPE Consortium this month is the additional link to Japan, which is expected to be completed in March 2009, and the Japan-to-US link, which is expected to be completed in early 2010.

Verizon Business is working closely with Asian partners to activate the US-mainland China link a month in advance of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Verizon Business teamed up with charter TPE Consortium team members - China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan) - to expedite the longest leg of the 18,000-kilometer (more than 11,000 miles) cable system.

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