MANILA—Globe Telecom and Belau Submarine Cable Corp. (BSCC) signed an agreement that would enable a submarine fiber optic cable from the Republic of Palau to interconnect with the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) cable to Guam.
Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu and George Rechucher, Chairman of BSCC, signed on behalf of the firms while Luke Weilbacher, Federated States of Micronesia Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Communication and Infrastructure signed a similar agreement with Telin Chief Technology Officer Pak Nanang Hendarno, which was witnessed by Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. and Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) President Peter Christian along with President Heine of the Marshall Islands in a ceremony held at the Hyatt Regency in Guam on May 4, 2017.
“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 in a statement.
For his part, Palau President Remengesau stated: “I am delighted to see this milestone marked today. The submarine 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.”
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).
The 14,000 kilometer cable system which is projected to cost around USD 250 million will consist of two fiber pairs with an initial design capacity of 20 terabits per second and will use the latest 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 which will be transported by barge to the landing site for installation.
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.