Vocus Communications | Australia Singapore Cable

Sea-Me-We 3 Outage Highlights Need For New Cable

Posted on 04 December, 2017
Sea-Me-We 3 Outage Highlights Need For New Cable

This weekend’s Sea-Me-We 3 Cable outage highlights the need for international diversity and a new cable system, Vocus says.

“The SMW3 system is nearing end-of-life”, says Luke Mackinnon, Head of Vocus International. “It is a fragile system and as outages like this - the third this year - show, Australia requires more robust alternatives and more capacity to South-East Asia.

“Last week we announced the Vocus Australia Singapore Cable (“ASC”) project is more than 50% complete, so by next year the region’s carriers, content distributors, businesses and consumers will be able to tap into a fully diversified network.”

The Sea-Me-We 3 Cable fault is approximately 1126km from the cable landing station in Singapore. Until the link is restored, customers can expect to see increased latency to Asian destinations.

“These faults can be tricky to fix, and as a cable system ages, become more prominent,” MacKinnon says. “The Vocus Australia Singapore Cable will actually be buried in parts - unusual for a submarine cable – but this further protects it from cable cuts.”

The Vocus-owned project, worth USD$170m, provides an important link between Australia and two of Asia’s strongest economies – Indonesia and Singapore.

Mackinnon says the manufacturing work on the ASC is nearing completion. The cable is being made in Calais, France by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). On the other side of the English Channel the company is finishing work on the repeaters at a factory in Greenwich in the UK. Once the cable and repeaters are ready, ASN will assemble them at the Calais site.

“Later this month the components will be loaded on a ship and brought to Singapore. We expect it to arrive in January. At this point we will offload a third of the cable and repeaters at Singapore. The Ile de Re cable laying ship will pick them up in January and start laying in February,” he says.

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