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New Submarine Cable Planned Between SE Asia and US

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the keeping-us-in-the-loop dept.

Communications 121

el_flynn writes "BusinessWeek is reporting on a new submarine cable system that will link South East Asia directly with the USA. Designated Asia-America Gateway (AAG), the project will involve a consortium of 17 international telcos, including AT&T Inc, India's Bharti AirTel, BT Global Network Services, CAT Telekom (Thailand), Eastern Telecommunications Philippines Inc (Philippines), Indosat (Indonesia) and Pacific Communications Pte Ltd (Cambodia). Led by Telekom Malaysia Berhad, the project is slated for completion in 2008, where 20,000km of cables will be providing a capacity of up to 1.92 Terabits per second of data bandwidth. Interestingly, the fibre-optic cable system will be taking a different route from many existing cables to avoid quake-prone areas and a repeat of the disruption to Asian web access caused by a tremor off Taiwan four months ago."

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121 comments

Different routes hardly "interesting" (4, Interesting)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923857)

Well duh! Taking a different route gives redundancy in the case of natural disaster/ deliberate attack clobbering one line. That's pretty common practice for laying cables, power lines, microwave links etc. It has been done for years.

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (5, Funny)

psaunders (1069392) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924001)

But let's not forget, it's about improving speed as well as reliability. With this high-bandwidth cable, it will take users in SE Asia much less time to download submarines from the US.

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924143)

And yellow submarines from the British. :P

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924355)

haha. Lyrics sheet here [nimp.org] . I would copy/paste, but there's an interesting suprise on that site for those brave enough to click. I won't spoil it, but if you're a beatle's fan, you'll love it :)

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924423)

Ahh, that shock site killed my terminal session, and I was using lynx with the NoScript plugin!!

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (1)

Tim99 (984437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924675)

AC - Shame that you don't have the skills to get this to work properly.

You could only crash my browser. Slightly irritating, but no harm done...

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924315)

$500e6/1.92e12 bits/sec -> .00026316 $/bit cost (or $263.16/megabit).

One time cost (plus some maint).

How many people in the far east would pay $263 (one time?) for their own private 1 Mbit link back to the US?

Why do I keep hearing about how expensive net access is in Australia?

One (or more) of these wouldn't add much to the cost...

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924561)

Because this isn't Australia. This is for South East Asia. We have a Monopoly in Australia controlling prices for net access, which means high prices.

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (5, Interesting)

bangenge (514660) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924361)

Well if anything, it gives us less worries in the event of a catastrophe. Back when the Taiwan earthquake happened, Internet connections here in the Philippines were pretty much useless for a couple of days. It pretty much showed how dependent _I_ am to the internet (I can only speak for myself, but I guess this was a common feeling for most people). It was pretty frustrating to say the least. I don't know about the other countries (Malaysia, Thailand, etc), but we were hit pretty hard back then. I'm pretty much welcome to adding more connections, to say the least. If anything, it might eventually help improve the bandwidth/cost ratio.

You might not appreciate how hard it is to have redundant cable connections until you find yourself in a country with 7,000+ islands, separated from other countries between quite a lot of water.

Co-operation to decentralise the internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924405)

To me, most importantly, this shows a tendency for Asian telcos to form co-operative exchanges and start decentralising the Internet from its USA bound root.

If non-US telcos can group together in Asia and Europe to create separate super-nodes over the world it will mean two things, one is lowering overall latency and isp costs since its expensive for every telco to have direct (and definitely limited) bandwidth with the USA despite the demand; and two is the possibility of cheap unlimited bandwidth for regions outside the USA. Making broadband media all the more accessible and valuable!

I ask, where is Australia's Telstra / Bigpond in all of this?

Re:Co-operation to decentralise the internet! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924547)

To me, most importantly, this shows a tendency for Asian telcos to form co-operative exchanges and start decentralising the Internet from its USA bound root.

It is connecting Asia to the US. How is that decentralizing? If it connected Asia to Australia or Africa or somewhere else it would be decentralizing, but not by connecting again to the US. That is centralizing.

Re:Co-operation to decentralise the internet! (2, Insightful)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924621)

I ask, where is Australia's Telstra / Bigpond in all of this?


Same place they have always been: hiding in their money bin with Scrooge McDuck waiting for a real rival in the local Broadband Internet market to take them on. They haven't done ANYTHING in recent years, not until Labor unveiled their plan for a National Broadband Network (that they would probably not be party to).

All they do is fail to innovate and then threaten to sue people who want to use "their" infrastructure to build a better network. I can't believe people let the Government sell the whole Monopoly off. That's what happens when you get majority control of the upper and lower house.

Personally, I am wondering why there aren't other Australian 'telcos' trying to get control of a feed into this Country in order to take control of the domestic market. Hopefully given some time they will have enough money to build some competition aganist Telstra in the Broadband market.

Re:Co-operation to decentralise the internet! (1)

nufc (953096) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924891)

Personally, I am wondering why there aren't other Australian 'telcos' trying to get control of a feed into this Country in order to take control of the domestic market. Hopefully given some time they will have enough money to build some competition against Telstra in the Broadband market.

In fact the main connection at the moment between Australia and the US is owned (mostly/totally?) by Optus (Singtel). Telstra have recently announced they are going to build a cable from Sydney to Hawaii and according to this article Telstra are also part of the consortium building this cable... which starts in SE-Asia, but importantly connects Hawaii to US west coast: http://australianit.news.com.au/articles/0,7204,21 644115%5E15320%5E%5Enbv%5E,00.html/ [news.com.au]

So in fact its Telstra that is building some competition to the existing cable - although I agree entirely regarding the broadband market here.

This new announcement also completes the picture for Telstra, they will have new cable all the way from Australia to Hawaii to west coast US.

In South-East Asia, it's *Extremely* interesting (4, Interesting)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925123)

If you look at a map of the undersea cable routes between South-East Asia and the US, or South-East Asia and North-East Asia, where "South-East Asia" includes the big markets of Hong Kong, Southern Taiwan, Guangzhou, Singapore, and traffic from India that routes through Singapore or HK, as well as smaller markets like Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., and "North-East" includes Shanghai, Beijing, Korea, Japan, and Northern Taiwan, everything runs between Taiwan and Philippines except for a couple of cables that head down to Australia (which is *really* the long way around) and a segment of the China-US Cable that goes between Taiwan and the mainland. And except for traffic that could take the Sydney-Guam-Japan route, or some traffic that could take land routes across China, everything north-south had to go at least to Hawaii and back, or usually to North America.


There are a *lot* of cables on that route. The December 2006 Taiwan quake took out N-1 or maybe N-2 of the cables there, and multiple segments of several of them. The cables had enough diversity to deal with problems like ship anchors and fishing nets; the earthquake trashed them all at once, and mostly in deep water. There weren't close to enough cable repair ships on that side of the world to fix them all at once, and weather delayed the repairs as well (plus repairs are a lot slower in deep water.) You can see some good maps at telegeography.com [nyud.net] .


This cable sounds like a big big win. I haven't seen a map of the route yet, just press releases, but if it goes around the other side without going all the way down to Sydney, it'll not only cut a few tens of milliseconds off the route, and add a lot of (potential, if not necessarily actually lit up for a while) bandwidth, but it'll make a major difference to reliability. The Telekom Malaysia PR person said: "This low-risk route was designed to avoid the volatile and hazardous Pacific Ring, thus mitigating the effects from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis."

Re:In South-East Asia, it's *Extremely* interestin (1)

cathyy (120691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925597)

As another person who lost internet access outside of Thailand almost entirely after the Taiwan earthquake I find this very interesting indeed and it makes my day. As things are now, I lose at least half my bandwidth when I try to connect internationally. A better connection to the US would be literally a dream come true. CAT Telecom has a lousy 450 meg pipe to the International gateway. http://202.44.204.43/webstats/internetmap_current. php?Sec=internetmap_current [202.44.204.43]

Re:In South-East Asia, it's *Extremely* interestin (1)

cathyy (120691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925609)

Make that 2.5 gig, I misread the map.

Re:Different routes hardly "interesting" (0, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18926649)

And it will have the added bonus of letting India and China take 'yer jobs [wikipedia.org] at double the speed.

Can you hear me now? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923867)

"Nothing for you to see hear."

Re:Can you hear me now? (1)

moogs (1003361) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923949)

Hooray for Malaysia! Although, being Malaysian, I wonder how many big-shots filled their pockets with millions before potting money into this project. Meh, it's Malaysia. I love my country and all (best food in the world. Trust me.) but the corruption is a problem... especially if there are major projects, you just know there are people making money off it...

Re:Can you hear me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924077)

Meh, it's Malaysia.

Yeah, it's a puki country.

Re:Can you hear me now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924201)

Cibai you want to die is it calling Malaysia puki country pantat you la sohai

Neal Stephenson on "cable guys" (4, Interesting)

cojsl (694820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923911)

Neil Stephenson's "Mother Earth Mother Board" is an great non fiction read about the cable laying culture: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/4.12/ffglass_pr .html [wired.com]

Pictures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924139)

Thanks for that link.

I just wish it were possible to provide pictures.

Maybe this is a dumb question, but if I could somehow go 20,000 feet underwater, in the middle of the Pacific and walk on the ocean floor, at some point I might trip over a cable, is that the idea?

I don't know why I'm having such a problem imagining that.

Does the cable sink slowly? How slowly? How do they know when it's touched bottom so they can move 100 feet forward and lay down some more? How much tension is there in it? How much slack?

Can they attach cameras and lights with batteries, wait for the thing to sink and then look around down there until the batteries die?

If an aircraft carrier sunk in the middle of the Pacific and sunk 20,000 ft to the bottom could it crush the wires? How thick is the thing when it's 20,000 feet down running up and down underwater mountains and valleys?

Could I dive a hundred feet down and splice it to get amazingly fast internet access while on a sailboat miles from shore?

Could I go snorkeling someplace and see it when it comes up on shore? How to they protect it from terrorists with scuba gear?

Where do they "plug it in" when it comes up on shore? What do they plug into?

I really hope someone can clue me in. Diagrams, lego models, anything like that would be greatly appreciated. I really don't why, but I'm having the hardest time picturing this.

Thanks in advance.

Re:Pictures? (1)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924347)

Could I go snorkeling someplace and see it when it comes up on shore? How to they protect it from terrorists with scuba gear?
Check your front door, there are a couple of guys in dark suits about to ring the bell. Maybe they'll explain it to you?

Re:Pictures? (5, Interesting)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924387)

Maybe this is a dumb question, but if I could somehow go 20,000 feet underwater, in the middle of the Pacific and walk on the ocean floor, at some point I might trip over a cable, is that the idea?

Pretty much. They've been laying them for over a hundred years, so there's probably quite a few to stumble upon if you're ambling around the right areas. Some are more buried in the sand than others, but they're all pretty much sitting on the surface. In fact, to repair them, they drag a hook along the ocean floor until they snag, then they reel it in like a fish.

How do they know when it's touched bottom so they can move 100 feet forward and lay down some more?

Knowing the depth of the water and the amount they've spooled out gives them a pretty good idea of where it is.

Can they attach cameras and lights with batteries, wait for the thing to sink and then look around down there until the batteries die?

Probably. But generally the kind of kit you send down that far for science is the kind that you want to reel back in eventually.

If an aircraft carrier sunk in the middle of the Pacific and sunk 20,000 ft to the bottom could it crush the wires?

It takes much less than an aircraft carrier to sever such a cable. Anchors, fishing trawlers, and sharks have all been known to do the trick.

How thick is the thing when it's 20,000 feet down running up and down underwater mountains and valleys?

Not very thick at all. A few inches. Closure to shore it may be thicker, encased in more "armor", as there are more threats (as above: anchors, etc.) And no, it's unlikely you could dive down and splice in, for this reason, not to mention the more technical issues.

Could I go snorkeling someplace and see it when it comes up on shore? How to they protect it from terrorists with scuba gear?

Probably, somewhere. Some places it comes right up onto the beach, often surrounded by barbed-wire fences, then into a building where it's redirected underground. In other places, it's buried into the sea bed near shore and then goes underground to the terminal. Terrorist attack probably isn't that big a concern, as close to shore is the easiest and cheapest place to repair any damage.

Where do they "plug it in" when it comes up on shore? What do they plug into?

If you've seen one sturdy-looking telecom building, you've seen them all. Some might be built more like bomb shelters (or rather, as bomb shelters) than others, but for the most part, they're dull, short, windowless buildings. Inside the cable plugs into an expensive box with blinking lights connected to other boxes with blinking lights. Usually there's a telephone handset for talking to the guy on the other end.

Re:Pictures? (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924489)

And no, it's unlikely you could dive down and splice in, for this reason, not to mention the more technical issues.
The technology exists to do just that, but the Federal Government classified it all.

They wanted a monopoly on underwater fiber snooping ;)

Re:Pictures? (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 7 years ago | (#18927165)

That's what Jimmy Carter is doing today! [wikipedia.org] (well, the USS Jimmy Carter)

Re:Pictures? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18926555)

Could I go snorkeling someplace and see it when it comes up on shore? How to they protect it from terrorists with scuba gear?
What is it with the "terrorist" paranoia? A terrorist's goal, by definition, is to spread terror. Cutting a trans-oceanic cable would be inconvenient and probably costly, sure, but I hardly think it would cause mass panic. I can't picture people running down the street, arms flailing, screaming, "THE CABLE'S BEEN CUT!"

Stepheson, eerily prescient: (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924487)

Funny, I remember reading that article when it originally came out.

There's one section in it, that reads somewhat differently today than it did in 1996:

Building the lighthouse [of Alexandria] with its magic lens was a way of enhancing the city's natural capability for looking to the north, which made it into a world capital for many centuries. It's when a society plunders its ability to look over the horizon and into the future in order to get short-term gain - sometimes illusory gain - that it begins a long slide nearly impossible to reverse.

The collapse of the lighthouse must have been astonishing, like watching the World Trade Center fall over.
But it took only a few seconds, and if you were looking the other way when it happened, you might have missed it entirely - you'd see nothing but blue breakers rolling in from the Mediterranean, hiding a field of ruins, quickly forgotten.
You know, I think he might have hit a little closer to the truth with that one than he might have realized at the time.

Re:Neal Stephenson on "cable guys" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924559)

Fabulous read; much better then TFA

Re:Neal Stephenson on "cable guys" (1)

soliptic (665417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18926355)

It is indeed a very interesting read (good old Stephenson!), thanks a lot for the link - keeping me entertained at work today ;)

a couple questions (2, Interesting)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923919)

1. How does one find/fix breakages in 20,000 km of cable? How would this be not much worse than repairing the trans-Atlantic cables, from a cost-benefit view?

2. Why must such a link be terrestrial/oceanic? Why not use satellite links?

Re:a couple questions (2, Insightful)

s800 (940543) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923959)

1- Find em with an OTDR. Pull it up, fix it.

2- C

Re:a couple questions (1)

calumtdalek (983493) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923963)

satellite links have horrible latency in general.

Re:a couple questions (1)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923965)

The terrestrial fiber in part backs up the satellite links, and vice-versa.

Belt and Suspenders.

I expect the latency from a one way trip of 12,500 miles is better than that of a round-trip to geosynchronous orbit.

Disclaimer: IANATE ( I Am Not A Telecommunications Engineer ).

Re:a couple questions (5, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923975)

Satellites == restricted bandwidth since it has to go by some frequency on the radio band.
Satellites == susceptible to solar storms, debris, and (soon) attack from ground/air based lasers and high inertia weapons.
Satellites == poor TCP performance (doesn't mean you could not use another format of course:http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/470799.html).
Satellite == "High Bandwidth" is in gigabytes per second (not Tbits). So you would need a lot of them. Latency is 400ms. That's pretty high.
Satellite == roughly 80,000 miles via satellite vs roughly 12,000 via cable.

Re:a couple questions (2, Informative)

slashdotmsiriv (922939) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924255)

" Satellites == poor TCP performance (doesn't mean you could not use another format of course:http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/470799.html " http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/470799.html [psu.edu] , File not Found Did you mean to cite "Congestion Control for High Bandwidth-Delay Product Networks" XCP : http://www.sigcomm.org/sigcomm2002/papers/xcp.pdf [sigcomm.org] ?

Re:a couple questions (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924471)

You forgot to mention that it's harder snoop on a directional satellite than to tap a cable run.

There are a bunch of classified patents covering the mechanism(s) by which the US Navy splices into the transoceanic fiber runs. (IIRC, some company had been working on the technology a few years ago & the Feds classified all their work)

Re:a couple questions (2, Interesting)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924927)

Satellites == restricted bandwidth since it has to go by some frequency on the radio band.

No. Satellites are line-of-sight, so you can theoretically have every satellite in the sky broadcasting across the entire GHz spectrum, and all of them will work just fine.

Satellites have limited bandwidth because of the expense of putting up a satellite, power requirements, equipment weight, etc. Satellites really have a lot of bandwidth, but it's not free.

Satellites == susceptible to solar storms, debris, and (soon) attack from ground/air based lasers and high inertia weapons.

Solar storms tend to shorten the life of satellites, but rarely just knock one out, unexpectedly.

And if you think it's easy to destroy a satellite in orbit, you should see how easy it is to cut a trans-oceanic cable.

The rest of the issues are latency, which is certainly a major concern. And you didn't mention on-going cost of operating satellites, vs a cable which generally just sits where you left it, and behaves itself.

Re:a couple questions (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#18927059)

What are the ongoing costs?

Personell or do you have to refuel them or something?

Yea- I'm not an expert- just answering the guy's questions with some googled crap.

Re:a couple questions (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924011)

To answer question #2, IMHO a satellite link is just too unreliable to be used as major backbone. There are just too many factors that could disrupt proper communications: weather, solar conditions, possibly even obstructions of the line of sight between the satellite and the ground station.

Re:a couple questions (5, Informative)

Tallweirdo (657529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924079)

1. How does one find/fix breakages in 20,000 km of cable? How would this be not much worse than repairing the trans-Atlantic cables, from a cost-benefit view?

As these are Fibre Optic cables it is quite simple to locate breakages using a device known as an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) [wikipedia.org] . You send an optical pulse down the cable and measure to see if you get reflections. If there is a break in the cable the laser will reflect off the discontinuity. The time taken for the reflection to return will give you the distance between the test point and the break as the speed of light in the cable is a known quantity.

If you then want to fix the cable you need to get to it and splice the broken fibre(s) back together. AFAIK this is done by hooking the fibre optic cable from a boat and hauling it to the surface (there is quite a bit of slack in the cables and they are well armoured) you then locate the fault and repair the break.

This isn't a replacement for the Trans-Atlantic cables, this is a redundant route so that people in South-East Asia and Australasia have an alternate route for getting traffic to the US when the cables that pass through Japan and/or Taiwan are damaged.

Re:a couple questions (1, Interesting)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924151)

They don't drag cables up- The whole thing is too heavy (Yes the cable itself is not very wide, but 100+km of it plus the repeaters every 2km are, as people say, pain in the ass).

The repair crews drag a giant hook (with a ship) near the break point and hope that they can cut the cable into two. The two ends of the cable will float up to the surface, and people replace that segment of the cable.

Does it sounds hideous? Yes. That's why it took 3 months to repair the Asia cable links.

Re:a couple questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924371)

Why would it float after it is cut and not before?

Re:a couple questions (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924397)

The cable is too heavy to lift but floats up when cut?

Re:a couple questions (4, Informative)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924505)

I'm not sure where you got your info from (or why the mods might think it interesting), though you are misinformed. Attenuation in modern fiber is about 0.3db/km (or less), scattering is more of a problem than attenuation. The cable run between repeaters is closer to 200 kilometres.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber-optic_communica tion [wikipedia.org]

The big hook is used to find the cable so that they can drag it up to the ship, the last thing they are going to do with a multi-billion dollar investment is damage it further by snapping it completely in half based on where they 'think' the break should be.

As you mentioned, undersea cables are fairly heavy, how you figure such a beast might float to the surface is beyond me. (Though you made me laugh)

The reason it took them so long to fix the cables off the coast of Taiwan was because there were several of them, all damaged at many points along along their length. With only a tiny handful of ships capable of doing the job, most of it during stormy sea conditions, they did a brilliant job to get it done in the short time that they did.

Re:a couple questions (3, Interesting)

guardiangod (880192) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924705)

I admit I shouldn't use the word "float", but it's a slang for "bringing something up from undersea"

More details here [wikipedia.org] . They do a much better job at explaining this-

From the article:

To effect repairs on deep cables, the damaged portion is brought to the surface using a grapple. Deep cables must be cut at the seabed and each end separately brought to the surface, whereupon a new section is spliced in. The repaired cable is longer than the original, so the excess is deliberately laid in a 'U' shape on the sea-bed. A submersible can be used to repair cables that are near the surface.

Another link from Taipei Times [taipeitimes.com] -

The grapnel is a metal tool about 46cm by 61cm with a cutter like a fine razor blade and a grabbing tool. As tension increases and the cable is slowly pulled up, it is cut, grabbed, and half of it is hoisted to the surface. Dropping the grapnel, dragging the sea bed and recovering the cable can take about 16 hours, Walters said.

Re:a couple questions (2, Informative)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924995)

This isn't a replacement for the Trans-Atlantic cables, this is a redundant route so that people in South-East Asia and Australasia have an alternate route for getting traffic to the US when the cables that pass through Japan and/or Taiwan are damaged.
My connection (on the Agile network) travels directly from Sydney to San Jose, CA. To benefit from this it sounds like my connection would have to travel up to Japan, and currently my route to Japan runs through America. I'm not sure if Australia will benefit from this.

Re:a couple questions (1)

cibyr (898667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925539)

Australia's bandwidth market can *definitely* benefit from more competition.

Re:a couple questions (1)

ceroklis (1083863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924087)

How does one find breakages in 20,000 km of cable?

With this [wikipedia.org] .

Re:a couple questions (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924093)

> 1. How does one find/fix breakages in 20,000 km of cable?

You drag a plow along the ocean floor until it snags the cable, you gently bring it to the surface, then you repair it on your cable repair ship: http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/t-arc.htm [fas.org]

Re:a couple questions (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924115)

I would guess this would be a redundant/upgraded link. I would also guess that the $500 million price tag, if they can get it done for that, is a relative bargain. Such money might only pay for 10-20 tons of launch capability, not counting design and construction costs.

The US is working on other communication projects that will be sattilite based, at costs that will likely exceed 20 billion.

Re:a couple questions (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924165)

2. Why must such a link be terrestrial/oceanic? Why not use satellite links?

First look at the cost of a launch vehicel [futron.com] and the cost to create a communication satellite. Keep in mind light speed is slow and latency is an issue esp if we are talking geostationary orbit, which starts at at least twice the distance of the cable being proposed. We're talking 360ms on a good day, 500ms typical. Low earth orbit is preferable for communications, but one needs a network of satellites to maintain a link, vs a big ass cable.

Cable might be a low tech solution, but it's a proven one and is the shortest distance between two points.

Re:a couple questions (4, Funny)

British (51765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924227)

Keep in mind light speed is slow and latency is an issue esp if we are talking geostationary orbit, which

But you know most of the data is going to be spam anyway, and you don't need low ping times for that data.

Get'er done (1)

sponga (739683) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924221)

I heard they send out 'Larry the Cable Guy'

Re:a couple questions (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924235)

You can find a breakage by sending a pulse down a cable and looking for the reflections. A cable restorer ship is then despatcehd to trawl and hook the cable ends and splice it.

Re:a couple questions (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924357)

1. Very Carefully.

2. The latency on satellite links is a deal breaker. Amongst a heap of other reasons.

another question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924479)

What kind of routing equipment does one put at the end of a 1.92 TBps cable?

Re:a couple questions (1)

Eddi3 (1046882) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924551)

Why must such a link be terrestrial/oceanic? Why not use satellite links?


A low tech solution is almost always better then a high tech one, if possible. Not only does this make it reliable, but also easier to fix, etc, etc, etc. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid)


Also, as an added bonus, it's faster and less susceptible to interference, etc., and, therefor, the better tech in this case anyway.


Eddie

Re:a couple questions (1)

BlueTrin (683373) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924563)

1. How does one find/fix breakages in 20,000 km of cable?


Look inside the optic cable like if you would use binoculars.

Re:a couple questions (1)

viking80 (697716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924937)

1. Use an OTDR (optical time domain reflectometer). Basically send an optical pulse down the fiber, and wait for the refection at the break. Present a map with the break highlighted. Accuracy about 1 meter.

2. a) A fiber cable has the bandwidth of a million satellites, and ping time of 60ms vs 400ms

Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923927)

But something tells me that there will be lots of filtering and other very tight controls over this network. I hope people will find a way around it should that happen.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

ISurfTooMuch (1010305) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924025)

What makes you say that?

Although one telecom company or another may want to filter certain traffic, I seriously doubt that they can all agree on which traffic to filter, so there's no reason to filter it on this cable, at least not in some wholesale way. Any filtering is going to be done in exactly the same way as it's been done before: through firewalls and other packet shaping tools at the ISP level. And really, there's no reason to believe that this cable will have any impact on that, one way or another.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924281)

But this is Slashdot, where you are supposed to be unreasonable: I expect a Chinese-controlled firewall to be built into the cable at the 10,0000 km point, buried in hard seafloor under 2 miles of ocean. I heard it will also automatically enforce the DMCA, with a sideband control channel to the RIAA and MPAA headquarters.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924359)

Sounds like you're up for the job. Go for it.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924341)

What makes you say that?

Guess you haven't noticed the trend to censor everything to "protect the children, prohibit unauthorized distribution", governments requesting backdoors and traffic logging, etc, etc. Let's not forget everybody's favorite, "terrorism". Oh, the list goes on. The companies are free to do what they want. I would prefer that people always keep an eye on an alternative to protect their rights if things go sour. Unfettered access is a necessity for free(as in freedom, though beer is nice) communications.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924103)

"But something tells me that there will be lots of filtering and other very tight controls over this network. I hope people will find a way around it should that happen."

Errr.. no. Not everything in SE Asia is filtered, Mister frog-in-a-well. It varies from country to country.

Re:Natural disasters might be avoided (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924243)

I don't think there is filtering done on the backbone, save for China, has this been known to happen? All filtering seems to be done at the last mile.

The US navy is ready! (2, Interesting)

Gorimek (61128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923929)

This is why the USS Jimmy Carter [defensetech.org] was built!

Re:The US navy is ready! (3, Funny)

modecx (130548) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924389)

Interesting, however, I think it would have been more apt were this ship named USS Richard Nixon.

Re:The US navy is ready! (3, Funny)

arivanov (12034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924457)

No need. Cable goes through Hawaii anyway and is under part American ownership by surprise surprise AT&T. Which we all know does not bend over to NSA and USA govt at their slightest whim even on internal in-the USA communications. Cough... Cough...

missing (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 7 years ago | (#18923947)

are spooks from that Co. list - but that's implied anyway, one would expect...

Epiphyte (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18923985)

Rumors that the new cable is being laid by Epiphyte Corporation have been quickly denied.

Obligatory Kinakuta question (1)

giminy (94188) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924013)

So is this cable going to tie in to Kinakuta at any point? I want my data haven!

Re:Obligatory Kinakuta question (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925563)

So is this cable going to tie in to Kinakuta at any point? I want my data haven!

So do I but where are you going to put it? My interpretation was that Kinakuta would be somewhere like Yogyakarta, but in this decade places like that are moving away from moderate Muslim rule to a more conservative version and I don't think it will work the same way now.

Iceland might be the go.

AT&T? You mean the NSA right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924059)

Let me guess. AT&T has to be involved so the NSA gets its magic spy network on the wire, too, right?

That's funny...pfft... (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924075)

"BusinessWeek is reporting on a new submarine cable system that will link South East Asia directly with the USA."

I'm in southern China, and the way I heard it was "...a new submarine cable system that will link the USA directly with South East Asia."

Re:That's funny...pfft... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924217)

I'm in southern China, and the way I heard it was "...a new submarine cable system that will link the USA directly with South East Asia."

Yeah, it is one of them new-fangled, bi-directional cables. They're all the rage in Europe and needed for Internet 2.0, so make sure you upgrade!

Re:That's funny...pfft... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924251)

Internet 3 will probably be a series of nano tubes. Every few seconds, the nano tubes will flip direction so that data can be sent the other way.

Re:That's funny...pfft... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924267)

Hmm, at a point somewhere in the middle of the cable run: "...two new submarine cables that will link ???island directly with South East Asia and the USA for unprecedented connectivity to our tropical people's paradise..."

Re:That's funny...pfft... (1)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924327)

I'm in Shanghai and I heard it was "...a new submarine cable system will finally give Southern China decent Internet speeds"

At least it quit raining here - hopefully May Day will be nice!

Re:That's funny...pfft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18925217)

"...a new submarine cable system that will link the USA directly with South East Asia."

As half of the USAians couldn't find SE Asia on a map and the other half think there's no pr0n to be found in a rice field, I think the other version is the credible one.

FAIlZORS? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924083)

maintained that 7oo

About time! (1)

Carlinya (622024) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924211)

And yet Malaysians wonder why do they throttle our traffic without any reason given. When we call them up and ask why, they say that there is no such thing.

Bleh.

More spam, more spam... (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924225)

Yeah, then we can get our spam so much faster...

Re:More spam, more spam... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925573)

Not to mention the goldfarmers that ruin economies having a better link.

Map? (1)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924291)

Anyone know of any maps of the proposed cable route?

Re:Map? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924865)

are you "fishing" for free internet ;-)

What about the Pacific Ring of Fire? (5, Interesting)

el_flynn (1279) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924335)

TFA quotes that a "low-risk route was designed to avoid the volatile and hazardous Pacific Ring, thus mitigating the effects from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis."

However, This [wikipedia.org] page, specifically this diagram [wikipedia.org] from Wikipedia, shows that there really isn't any way to avoid the so-called "Pacific Ring of Fire", as the PRF is essentially a nearly continuous series of oceanic trenches, island arcs, and volcanic mountain ranges and/or plate movements. And the countries to be connected - Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, the Philippines - sit neatly in this zone. So there really _isn't_ any mitigating natural disasters. Unless they're just talking about the type of tsunamis that recently hit the Indian Ocean areas.

As a side note, ninety percent of the world's earthquakes and 81% of the world's largest earthquakes occur along the Ring of Fire.

Re:What about the Pacific Ring of Fire? (1)

grommit (97148) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925933)

So, you didn't bother to actually look closely at the diagram that you posted did you? Or did you just not notice the giant gap between the Bougainville trench and the Tonga trench? I'm betting they'll link the West coast through Hawaii and then through that gap. Not having RTFA I can't say for sure though.

Trenches are bad. Areas without trenches are not so bad.

Hmm, 2 terabits (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924521)

Let's see, that means the equivalent of 2000 gigabit connections, which is about 2 million megabit connetions. Given that a decent voice stream will require, say, 128kb, that's about 15 million concurrent VOIP streams simultaneously. Not bad!

Great, a new way for spam to enter the US (1)

uber_geek9 (879433) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924571)

Yarg!

Rules (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18924585)

I hope they remember the 5-4-3 rule of networking

There's a cheaper alternative... (1)

Photo_Nut (676334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18924625)

Just filter out the spam sent from that region of the world... No increase in bandwidth would be necessary...

Mod parent up, it's absolutely right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18925315)

Most internet traffic is spam nowadays - regardless of where it originates. Instead of spending $500 million on increasing the available bandwidth (most of which will be consumed by spam), why not invest about 10% of that amount on getting some really smart people to develop spam filters that could be run in the routers where the existing cables terminate? Block spam from entering the existing undersea cables - and shazam! we suddenly will have bandwidth to burn.

take that mr. stephens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18925169)

bigger tubes.... wooo-hooo....

CAT Telecom (1)

markpeak (1039366) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925319)

The correct "CAT Telekom" spelling is "CAT Telecom". It's mispelled from the news source.

you FAI_L it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18925331)

waNt them 7here. [goat.cx]

New Submarine Cable (1)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925789)

...allowing servicemen aboard US Submarines to receive the same lousy cable TV service from Comcast that you get.
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