Cable network to meet Trans-Pacific demand for bandwidth

Will cost about US$300 million

Pacnet today announced its latest investment into expanding its subsea cable network with the launch of its first Trans-Pacific cable infrastructure, EAC Pacific.

EAC Pacific will enhance connectivity and reliability of Pacnet's existing pan-Asia EAC-C2C subsea cable network by providing up to 1.92 Tbps of bandwidth across the Pacific.

Pacnet CEO, Bill Barney, said while intra-Asia bandwidth demands are being met by regional cable systems such as Pacnet's EAC-C2C cable network, Unity will meet the increasing demand for Trans-Pacific bandwidth as more digital content is generated from within Asia and accessed from across the Pacific.

EAC Pacific is part of the 10,000km Unity cable system that is being built by a global consortium which includes five other global companies and is expected to cost about US$300 million.

Pacnet is the single largest investor in Unity and will control two of the five fiber pairs in Unity.

Each of the fiber pairs of the Unity cable system are capable of carrying up to 960 Gbps, and the cable system can scale up to eight fiber pairs.

Initial capacity from Unity is expected by the first quarter of 2010.

Through Unity, Pacnet and its consortium partners have led the way for a new operating model for future submarine cable systems.

By coming together to build a cable with a high fiber count, Barney said consortium members can benefit from a high bandwidth cable that comes at lower unit costs.

Unlike traditional consortium-built cables, he said the new cable operating model allows consortium members like Pacnet to operate fiber pairs in the new cable independently.

Pacnet first unveiled its Trans-Pacific cable strategy in 2007.

"Having secured the funding for our network expansion, we will continue to look for network expansion opportunities across the Pacific," Barney said.

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Sandra Rossi

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