Submarine cable boosts Australia-US capacity

Telstra and Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated a new 9,000 km submarine cable that will dramatically increase Internet capacity between Australia and the US.

In a statement, the two firms said the new cable, which will be landed at Sydney's Tamarama Beach this week, can be scaled up to 1.28Tbps capacity between the two countries.

At full capacity, the cable can carry 160,000 concurrent HDTV channels.

'The explosion of user-generated online content means we need more capacity than ever before with the US, which is already the destination for two-thirds of all Australian traffic on the Internet,' Kate McKenzie, group managing director at Telstra's wholesale unit, said. She added, 'This cable is the largest ever built and owned by an Australian company. It's another example of Telstra investing to ensure Australia can enjoy the health care, education and productivity benefits made possible by high-speed broadband technology.'

Alcatel-Lucent began laying the cable between Sydney and Hawaii earlier this year. Work will continue to lay the cable across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii. This leg should be operational by the end of 2008.

From Hawaii the cable will interconnect with the new Asia America Gateway cable and other cables providing direct access to the mainland US

The increased capacity means Telstra's retail and wholesale customers will enjoy higher internet speeds and greater security when they access information from the US on Telstra's Next G network, through BigPond and for telecommuting and videoconferencing.