Bandwidth boom: 16 new cables in 2009

The longhaul bandwidth business is undergoing its biggest boom since the go-go years of the tech bubble, according to TeleGeography.

More than 60% of US network operators surveyed by TeleGeography plan to light new fiber on their networks in 2009.

International capacity usage last year grew 64%, while 16 new subsea cables are being planned, “exceeding the number of cables laid in 2001, the peak of the submarine cable investment bubble,” the telecom research firm said.

But while telcos threw $13.5 billion at new cable systems in 2001, total spending on subsea cable construction in 2009 is projected to reach $2.6 billion.

“'While the number of cables being laid is impressive, this current batch of new cables won't break the bank,” said analyst Alan Mauldin. “Most of these new cables cover shorter distances and employ simpler designs than their predecessors, helping to keep costs in check.'”