Telstra invests in new cables connecting Hong Kong to the US

HKA, PLCN offer alternative to AAG, Telstra says

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Telstra has revealed details of two new agreements to invest in submarine cable systems.

The telco said it would invest in a half fibre pair on the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable, which will link Hong Kong to the United States.

Telstra said it would also purchase capacity equivalent to 6 terabits per second on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which like HKA will stretch from Hong Kong to the west coast of the US. Google and Facebook are also backing the PLCN.

The PLCN will have a total capacity of around 120 terabits per second and include 12,800 kilometres of fibre.

The cables will offer lower latency than the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), which connects South-East Asia to the west coast of the US via Guam and Hawaii.

“Together with the current AAG cable on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong to US route, one of the fastest growing routes in the world for capacity demand,” Telstra’s group managing director of global services and international, David Burns, said in a statement.

Burns said that the two new cables will provide greater resilience for Telstra customers by offering two direct alternative paths to the AAG and bypassing areas prone to natural disasters.

Telstra said that PLCN and HKA are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020, respectively.

The company last year detailed its investment in the INDIGO cable system, alongside AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel and SubPartners.

The 9000-kilometre INDIGO cable will connect Singapore, Australia and Indonesia. In Australia the cable will land in Perth, and from there connect to Sydney.

Vocus last week revealed that it had won an Australian government contract to conduct a scoping study into a new cable connecting Australia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

The telco said it anticipated the study would lead to the rollout of a new cable on behalf of the government, beginning this year.

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