Verizon Business announced on January 11, 2008 that it has obtained final approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to activate and operate the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) submarine cable system in the U.S.

The FCC granted a cable-landing license, which provides final authority to land the Trans-Pacific Express submarine cable in Oregon, and to activate and operate the TPE cable system in the U.S. The application for the license was filed with the FCC in 2007.

The TPE cable is the first next-generation undersea optical cable system directly linking the U.S. and mainland China. It also is the first major undersea system to land on the U.S. West Coast in more than seven years.  The 17,000-kilometer (1100-mile) submarine communications cable will use the latest optical technology and provide greater capacity and higher speeds to meet the dramatic increase in demand for IP, data and voice communications traffic between the U.S. and the Asia-Pacific region and within the region.

The TPE submarine cable - being built by  a consortium comprised of Verizon Business, China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan) -- can support the equivalent of 62 million simultaneous phone calls, more than 60 times the overall capacity of the existing cable directly linking the U.S. and China.  The cable will initially provide capacity of up to 1.28 terabits per second (Tbps), and the system will have a design capacity of up to 5.12 Tbps to support future Internet growth and advanced applications such as video and e-commerce.

In another first, customers can access the cable system at wavelengths of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), the equivalent of nearly 121,000 simultaneous calls.

As the U.S. landing party for this submarine cable, Verizon Business is responsible for landing and operational activities for the TPE submarine cable system in the U.S.  During the FCC landing license application approval process review, the FCC issued a grant of Special Temporary Authority, which authorized the beginning of construction for the TPE cable landing at Nedonna Beach, Ore., but not activation of the system.  Verizon Business completed the landing work on Nov. 14, 2007. 

Verizon Business also is building out network facilities in Oregon to connect the TPE cable to Verizon Business' U.S. domestic network.  In addition to the U.S. West Coast landing, the TPE cable will land on the Mainland China at Qingdao and Chongming. Additional landing stations include Tanshui, Taiwan and Keoje, South Korea (and Shin Maruyama when NTT joins the TPE consortium).

Manufacturing and construction to complete the TPE submarine cable is well under way.  The first cable was placed into the water near the Korean coast on Sept. 21, 2007, and the first 55 kilometers of TPE cable was placed off the U.S. West Coast in late November.  Numerous cable-laying ships are in the Pacific Ocean today placing this state-of-the-art undersea cable.  The TPE system is on schedule to be completed and in service by August, in advance of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

When completed, the TPE cable will complement the company's existing submarine cables in the Asia-Pacific region.  The next-generation undersea system represents a continuation of the company's strategy to remain an active leader in the development of submarine cable systems. Verizon Business has ownership in more than 18 cable systems in the Asia-Pacific region including: Japan-US CN, China-US CN, Southern Cross (U.S., New Zealand and Australia) and the new SEA-ME-WE-4 cable, put into service in December 2005, linking Europe and Asia.