Globe Telecom and Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) signed an agreement that would allow a submarine fiber optic cable spur currently under construction from the Republic of Palau to interconnect with the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) cable for onward transport to Guam.
Globe was represented by its President and CEO Ernest Cu while George Rechucher, Chairman of BSCC, signed on behalf of the company. “We are excited about the commissioning of the SEA-US Cable because of its immense benefits to the Philippines. Additionally, we are proud to be able to provide the Republic of Palau with 1st world Internet connectivity through this interconnection agreement,” Cu said.
At the same, Lukner Weilbacher, FSM Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication & Infrastructure signed a similar agreement with the Chief Technology Officer of Telin, Pak Nanang Hendarno.
The signing of the two agreements was witnessed by Palau President Tommy Remengesau, Jr. and FSM President Peter Christian along with President Heine of the Marshall Islands during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Guam on May 4, 2017.
Globe (Philippines) and Telin (Indonesia) are major owners of SEA-US, a new cable that will link Indonesia and the Philippines to the USA via Guam and Hawaii, in partnership with GTA (Guam), Hawaiian Telecom (USA) and RTI (USA).
At a project cost of around USD250 million, the 14,000-kilometer cable system will consist of two fiber pairs with an initial design capacity of 20 terabits per second and will use the latest in submarine fiber-optic technology with 100 gigabits per second transmission equipment per pair. Such additional capacity will cater to the exponential growth of bandwidth between Southeast Asia and the United States.
Construction of the spur from Ngeremlengui state in Palau to the SEA-US cable to the north is well advanced, with the modular Cable Landing Station expected to arrive at Koror this week. From there it will be transported by barge to the landing site for installation.
President Remengesau said: “I am delighted to see this milestone marked today. The submarine fiber network will be critical to so many aspects of our life in Palau, from healthcare to education, from social networking to business. With the BSCC network expected to be in service before the end of the year, Palau is on the move.”
The Interconnection Agreements provide for five 100 gigabit per second wavelengths to Guam, more than 1000 times the current capacity available in Palau, and will provide a big boost to businesses, schools, hospitals and clinics, government services, entertainment, and social networking. The BSCC project is currently on schedule and is expected to be in service in December 2017.
Palau will see an increasing level of activity in coming weeks and months, with expert teams from Sweden (Flexenclosure, the Cable Landing Station supplier), Japan (NEC, the submarine cable network supplier), and throughout the Pacific (the BSCC Project Management Unit) arriving to install equipment and ensure the highest quality standards. Local contractors, Surangel’s, have been busy preparing the Ngeremlengui landing site.
The Minister of Finance, Hon. Elbuchel Sadang said, “BSCC has been positioned to deliver abundant capacity to our retail service providers in Palau at cost, ensuring maximum benefit to the community and commerce. We expect our service providers will step up to the plate and make the most of this opportunity to transform their businesses.”