Big Fiber Is Back

5 thoughts on “Big Fiber Is Back”

  1. I just got a quick lesson in modern trans-oceanic networks yesterday. Lets look at Flags new middle eastern FALCON Network. It has high capacity, but low current usage. This is a direct quote from FLAG FALCON

    “Self healing Gulf loop, providing maximum design capacity of 1.28 Tbps. Initial launch capacity 50 Gbps.
    Four fibre pair route linking the Gulf to Egypt and India. Design capacity of 2.56 Tbps, with initial launch at 90 Gbps.
    Approx. length 10,300 km.”
    http://www.flagtelecom.com/index.cfm?page=4023

    This seems to be the case on many routes, certainly atlantic routes. So will we see an abundance of fiber capacity on the trans pacific route too? Is the amount of unlit capacity there such that it can easily be activated and an incumbent owner of such fiber could start a price war?

  2. One swallow does not make a summer and one new transpacific cable does not make an industry revival. There are at least four proposals out there for new transpacific cables from different parts of Asia to US. If all of them are built, we could be in for a repeat of the meltdown we saw in 2002-3.

    As for the transatlantic, capacity is gradually getting taken up but the supply-demand balance has some way to go before it approaches equilibrium. And by the way, it never reaches that point because investors are always looking to be first to market so they initiate what is usually about a 2-year process to plan, build, and commission a transoceanic cable well in advance of the curve.

    What the submarine fibre optic industry needs above all else to survive is for broadband to be as readily available as possible to fixed and mobile end users. Technology, geopolitics, and macroeconomics are all playing a part in making broadband ubiquitous but I would estimate that still 75% of the ultra-long haul fibre which is already installed is not yet lit.

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