For provision of cable-based external fixed service, an interested party is required to obtain a UCL (External) from OFTA. Apart from leasing capacity on existing submarine cables for provision of service, a holder of UCL (External) may also choose to land their own cables in Hong Kong, either by using an existing CLS or building a new CLS.
As of January 2020, there are 11 submarine cable systems connecting Hong Kong, namely, Asia Africa Europe-1 ("AAE-1"), Asia-America Gateway Cable System ("AAG"), Asia Pacific Cable Network 2 ("APCN-2"), Asia Pacific Gateway (“APG”), Asia Submarine-Cable Express ("ASE"), EAC - C2C, FLAG Europe Asia ("FEA"), FLAG North Asia Loop ("FNAL") / REACH North Asia Loop ("RNAL"), Sea-Me-We 3 ("SMW3"), South-East Asia Japan Cable System ("SJC") and TGN-Intra Asia Cable System ("TGN-IA"). Several other systems are under construction or being planned.
Cables with Intra-Asia connectivity:
Cables connecting Europe, Africa and EMEA regions:
Cables connecting the United States:
Cables connecting Australia:
And there are eight submarine cable landing stations (CLS) in Hong Kong, including three at Tseung Kwan O, two at Tong Fuk, and each at Deep Water Bay, Chung Hom Kok and Cape D'Aguilar respectively.
Due to the geography of Hong Kong, the submarine cables are landed in Hong Kong from international waters via the southeast direction. This has restricted the choice of landing sites for submarine cables even though Hong Kong has a long coastline. Currently, there are three major areas for landing of submarine cables with cable landing stations at: (1) Tong Fuk in the southern part of Lantau Island; (2) Deep Water Bay, Cape D’Aguilar and Chung Hom Kok in the southern part of the Hong Kong Island; and (3) Tseung Kwan O in the eastern part of the New Territories.
As most of the existing submarine cables are landed at Tong Fuk and Deep Water Bay, there are advantages in having additional cables landed in new pieces of land elsewhere. It will offer the necessary physical diversity to land submarine cables at TKO (Tseung Kwan O) where accomodates many leading data centers in Hong Kong, such as HKEx, Global Switch, MEGA Plus, Hong Kong Financial Data Center, etc.