South Pacific

  • The Bulikula submarine cable connects Guam with Fiji.

    Bulikula is the Fijian word for “golden cowrie,” a rare shell found in the Pacific Ocean often worn by local chieftains as a badge of rank.

    The Bulikula submarine cable system is part of Google's Central Pacific Connect initiative which includes Bulikula and Halaihai linking Guam and French Polynesia.

    Google's Central Pacific Connect initiative is originated from the Central Pacific Cable project, which demonstrates a strategic initiative of the United States to connect various Pacific islands and boost the U.S.’s interests in the Pacific region, where it competes for influence with China.

    Google partners with Telstra, APTelecom, and Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) on the Bulikula submarine cable system and the Central Pacific Connect initiative. 

    Amalgamated Telecom Holdings Limited (ATH) was incorporated as a public company in March 1998, as a vehicle through which the Fiji government's investments in the telecommunications sector was consolidated for the purpose of privatisation under its public sector reform programme. 

    Telstra owns and operates a fibre pair on the core trunk on the Bulikula cable connecting Guam and Fiji. 

    Central Pacific Connect Initiative
    Central Pacific Connect Initiative, Image courtesy: Google

     

  • Central Pacific Cable is a 15,900-kilometer subsea cable which plans to connect American Samoa with Guam - two U.S. territories, and extend to up to 12 more Pacific islands, including Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Wallis and Futuna.

    The Central Pacific Cable project demonstrates a strategic initiative of the United States, which aims to connect various Pacific islands and seeks to boost the U.S.’s interests in the Pacific region, where it competes for influence with China.

    The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Tuvalu Telecom Corporation (TTC) for a feasibility study to support the development of the Central Pacific Cable.

    TTC has selected Florida-based APTelecom LLC to conduct the feasibility study.

    In January 2024, Google announced plans for the Central Pacific Connect initiative, to build two new intra-Pacific cables — Bulikula and Halaihai—connecting Guam with Fuji and French Polynesia respectively. Google collaborates with Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) of Fiji, APTelecom, and Telstra on the Central Pacific Connect initiative.

  • Google announced plans for the Central Pacific Connect initiative, to build two new intra-Pacific cables — Bulikula and Halaihai —connecting Guam with Fuji and French Polynesia respectively. Google will collaborate Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) of Fiji, APTelecom, and Telstra on the Central Pacific Connect initiative to increase digital connectivity in the region.

  • The Halaihai submarine cable connects Guam with French Polynesia.

    Halaihai is named after a type of vine that grows on beaches. The word is often used in the Chamorro expression, “tilifón halaihai,” which refers to information spread from person to person, whether face-to-face, by phone, or over the internet.

    The Halaihai submarine cable system is part of Google's Central Pacific Connect initiative which includes Halaihai and Bulikula linking Guam with Fiji.

    Google's Central Pacific Connect initiative is originated from the Central Pacific Cable project, which demonstrates a strategic initiative of the United States to connect various Pacific islands and boost the U.S.’s interests in the Pacific region, where it competes for influence with China.

    Google partners with Telstra, APTelecom, and Amalgamated Telecom Holdings (ATH) on the Central Pacific Connect initiative. 

     

    Central Pacific Connect Initiative
    Central Pacific Connect Initiative, Image courtesy: Google

     

  • Hawaiki Cable spans 15,000 km, linking Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa, Pacific Island, Hawaii and Oregon, on the U.S. West Coast.

    The Hawaiki Cable System has a initial design capacity of 30Tbps on its trans-pacific route offers, offer the following connecctions: 

    • Australia to Hawaii, 2 fiber pairs, 20Tbps
    • New Zealand to Hawaii, 1 fiber pair, 10 Tbps
    • Hawaii to Hillsboro, 3 fiber pairs, 30 Tbps
    • Australia to New Zealand, 1 fiber, 12 Tbps
    • Branching Unit to America Somoa, 2 fiber pairs, 100-200Gbps
    • Branching Unit to New Caledonia (Tomoo Cable), 2 fiber pair, up to 2Tbps per fiber pair.

    The main trunk of Hawaiki cable system is 100% owned and constructed by Hawaiki Submarine Cable LP (HSC LP), headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. The total investment in Hawaiki Cable is approximately US$300 million (NZD 445m).

    HSC LP and its affiliates owns and/or controls the cable landing stations ("CLS") in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Oregon, as follows:

    • Australia: CLS in Sydney is colocated at Equinix SY4.
    • New Zealand: HSC LP builds and owns a new CLS in  Mangawhai Heads.
    • Hawaii: HSC USA builds and owns a new CLS in Kapolei, with DRFortress acting as landing party in Hawaii.
    • Oregon: CLS in Pacific City is leased from Tillamook Lightwave, who owns the CLS. ACS Cable Systems, LLC operates the CLS in Oregon pursuant to an agreement with HSC USA. The SLTE of Hawaiki cable system is terminated at Flexential's Brookwood data center in Hillsboro.

    American Samoa Telecommunications Authority ("ASTCA"), the government-owned incumbent local exchange carrier in the U.S. Territory of American Samoa, owns, constructs and operates the branch to American Samoa and corresponding landing station.

    Research and Educational Advanced Network New Zealand (Reannz), owned by Government of New Zealand, was the first anchor customer of Hawaiki Cable. As of July 2014, Government has entered into the anchor tenancy contract with Hawaiki Cable, valued $65million. The total cost of the tenancy includes an initial contribution of $15 million and annual fees over the 25-year period. The Government has provided the $15 million contribution from an appropriation set aside for purchasing an anchor tenancy on a new transtasman and trans-Pacific submarine cable. Reannz will meet the annual fees out of its existing revenues. 

    In October 2016, Amazon AWS purchased capacity in the Hawaiki cable system,  making it AWS' first investment in an international submarine cable system.

    The Hawaiki submarine cable system was ready for service on Jul. 20, 2018.

    In September 2018, Australia-based Palisade Investment Partners acquired 30% interest in HSC LP and obtained de facto control of HSC LP and the Hawaiki Cable System.

    In June 2019, Hawaiki Cable opened new subsea route to the US with direct access to Los Angeles, based on the most easterly segment of the SEA-US cable.

    In December 2019, Hawaiki Cable announced to add a branch to New Caledonia, named ‘Tomoo Cable’, with the Société Calédonienne de Connectivité Internationale (SCCI) as the landing party in New Caledonia.

    In July 2021, BW Group Limited, through its affiliate company BW Digital Pte. Ltd., acquired 100% shares of HSC LP and the Hawaiki Cable System. The acquisition was subject to applicable regulatory filings and approvals and was completed in May 2022. Local press reports indicate that the sale price of the transaction, from the Palisade-led consortium, to BW Group, was appoximately US$350m.

     

    Hawaiki Cable Route

  • Hawaiki Nui is a 22,000km submarine cable connecting New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singpaore and the United States.

    Hawaiki Nui subsea cable project was launched by Hawaiki Submarine Cable Limited Partnership (Hawaiki) in November 2021. Hawaiki has selected PT Mora Telematika Indonesia (Moratelindo) as its strategic partner for Indonesia. Moratelindo will serve as the Indonesian landing party, acquire all necessary permits and authorisations in Indonesia for the project, and provide local terrestrial infrastructures for landing the subsea cable in Indonesia.

    Hawaiki Nui cable system features the latest spatial division multiplexing (SDM) technology, with a design capacity of 240Tbps.

    Hawaiki Nui cable system will provide end-to-end connectivity between the three main hubs of the Pacific region: Singapore, Sydney and Los Angeles. There are also landing planned in Jakarta and Batam, Indonesia.

    In Australia, Hawaiki Nui will link Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Darwin, while providing them with direct access to Singapore and Los Angeles.

    In New Zealand, Hawaiki Nui will be the first international cable to land in the South Island of New Zealand, linking Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill directly to Australia via a new and fully diverse subsea route.

    In addition, two branches will be built to connect Oahu and Big Island in Hawaii.

    Hawaiki Nui will couple with the existing Hawaiki cable.

    Hawaiki Nui cable system is expected to be ready for service in 2025.

     

    Hawaiki Nui Cable Route
    Hawaiki Nui Cable Route, Image Credit: Hawaiki

     

  • Honomoana is a new transpacific subsea cable connecting the United States and Australia to French Polynesia.

    Named after the Polynesian word for “link” (hono) and “ocean” (moana), the Honomoana cable system is part of Google's South Pacific Connect initiative which includes Honomoana and Tabua, which connects the United States and Australia to Fiji. 

    In addition to Honomoana and Tabua, the South Pacific Connect initiative will construct physically diverse cable landing stations in Fiji and French Polynesia and connect them with an interlink cable. 

    The South Pacific Connect initiative will create a ring between Australia, Fiji and French Polynesia. This ring will include pre-positioned branching units that will allow other countries and territories of Oceania to take advantage of the reliability and resilience resulting from the initiative. 

     South Pacific Connect initiative
    South Pacific Connect initiative, Image courtesy: Google

     

  • The Humboldt Cable System is a 14810 km submarine cable connecting Chile, French Polynesia and Australia, with branches for the possible connection of other countries and territories.

    The Humboldt Consortium comprises Google, Desarrollo País of Chile and Office of Posts and Telecommunications of French Polynesia (OPT).

    The Humboldt subsea cable project is an initiative of the Government of Chile, being ambitious to build a direct fiber optic network link South America and the Asia-Pacific region since 2016.

    In September 2019, the Fondo de Infraestructura, S.A. of Chile selected Telecommunications Management Group, Inc. (TMG) and WFN Strategies, LLC (WFN) to do economic, technical, and legal feasibility study for the Humboldt Cable System. The TMG-WFN consortium received a fund of US$2,982,532 from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) which funded the feasibility study.

    In 2020, the Government of Chile chose a solution proposed by Japanese NEC, to build the Humboldt subsea cable linking Chile to Australia and New Zealand. According to the Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei,  Japan's route beat out a pitch by China that would have made Shanghai the final landing point. This decision of the Government of Chile came amid a U.S. pressure campaign to keep China out of global telecommunication projects.

    The Humboldt Cable project is expected to cost approximately US$400million. The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the Japan ICT Fund (JICT Fund) will provide funds for the project to support NEC as the system vendor.

    In December 2021, the Fondo de Infraestructura, S.A. of Chile selected H2 Cable LP, a subsidiary of BW Digital (the owner of Hawaiki Cable System), as a strategic partner for the development of the Humboldt Cable System. H2 Cable dropped out the project later.

    In January 2024, Google joined the Humboldt subsea cable project, changing its route to connect Chile, French Polynesia and Australia.

    Humboldt Subsea Cable Route
    HUMBOLDT SUBSEA CABLE ROUTE, IMAGE COUTESY: GOOGLE

     

  • The Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN) forms a protected ring network among 9 cable landing stations (two each in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the US mainland, and one in Fiji) and an access point in San Jose, California. The Southern Cross Cable Network contains 3 fiber pairs between Sydney and Hawaii, and 4 fiber pairs between Hawaii and the US West Coast, with almost 30,500 km in length, including 28,900km of submarine cable and 1,600km of terrestrial cable.

    The Ready for Service (RFS) for Phase A of the Southern Cross network - comprising all nine stations and all segments except Segment D (from Hawaii to California) - was achieved on 15 November 2000. Completion of the fully protected loop network (RFS Phase B) was achieved on 28 February 2001.

    The Southern Cross Cable Network is invested, owned and operated by Southern Cross Cables Limited (SCCL,a Bermuda private limited company) which was owned indrectly by Spark NZ (50%), Singtel EInvestments (40%) and Verizon Business (10%). In 2018, Telstra acquired 25% stake in SCCN and substantial capacity on both the existing network and the new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable. As a result, SCCL is owned by Spark NZ (38.12%), Singtel EInvestments (30.49%), Telstra (25%) and Verizon Business (6.4%). Visit here for the ownership chart of SCCL and PCLI.

    The Southern Cross Cable Network was originally designed to working with 10 Gbps DWDM and deliver 120Gbps of fully protected capacity (240Gbps across the network). 

    On July 30, 2013, Southern Cross announced the completion of upgrade with Ciena's 100G technology, increasing its lit capacity to 2.6Tbps and system capacity to 12Tbps.

    The latest upgrades (Phase J) will increase total lit network capacity to approximately 12.8Tbps over the next few years. Following the introduction of the latest 100Gbps technology the current system potential is estimated at more than 22Tbps.

  • The Southern Cross NEXT is a 15,857 km submarine cable system connecting Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles, with branching units linking the Pacific Islands of Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati.

    The Southern Cross NEXT will be a high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, to be the lowest latency path from Australia and New Zealand to the United States, with a design capacity of 72 Tbps and four fiber pairs over its trunk between Sydney and Los Angeles. The Southern Cross NEXT is an extension of the existing Southern Cross eco-system.

    The Southern Cross NEXT is expected to cost around US$350 million, invested by Southern Cross Cable Limited (a Bermuda private limited company), with its sister company Pacific Carriage Limited Inc (PCLI, a Delaware corporation) as landing party in the US, and its subsidiaries in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the Pacific Island as landing party in corresponding countries. Please visit here for more details about the Southern Cross NEXT system ownership.

    Southern Cross Cable Limited was owned by Spark NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%). In December 2018, Telstra acquired a 25% stake in SCCN and substantial capacity on both the existing network and the new Southern Cross NEXT subsea cable. As a result, SCCL is owned by Spark NZ (38.12%), Singtel EInvestments (30.49%), Telstra (25%) and Verizon Business (6.4%). There is similar ownership for Pacific Carriage Limited Inc, with Singtel's Optus Networks Pty Ltd replacing Singtel EInvestments. Visit here for the ownership chart of SCCL and PCLI.

    The supply contract was awarded to ASN and was granted CIF (Contract In Force) in October 2019.

    The Southern Cross NEXT was launched for service on July 7, 2022.

    Southern Cross network ecosystem

     

  • Tabua is a new transpacific subsea cable connecting the United States and Australia to Fiji.

    Named after a sacred Fijian whale’s tooth, the Tabua cable system is part of Google's South Pacific Connect initiative which includes Tabua and Honomoana, which connects the United States and Australia to French Polynesia. 

    In addition to Honomoana and Tabua, the South Pacific Connect initiative will construct physically diverse cable landing stations in Fiji and French Polynesia and connect them with an interlink cable. 

    The South Pacific Connect initiative will create a ring between Australia, Fiji and French Polynesia. This ring will include pre-positioned branching units that will allow other countries and territories of Oceania to take advantage of the reliability and resilience resulting from the initiative. 

     South Pacific Connect initiative
    South Pacific Connect initiative, Image courtesy: Google

     

  • Telstra International announced the partnership with Trans Pacific Networks (TPN) on the Echo cable, the first subsea cable to directly connect the US to Singapore, creating a new route and delivering vital connectivity in the Trans-Pacific.