JGA South consortium including RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI), AARNet Pty Ltd (AARNet) and Google announced on Friday March 27 that the construction of the Japan-Guam-Australia South Cable System (JGA South) has been successfully completed and is ready for service. The JGA South spans approximately 7,000 km between Piti, Guam and Sydney, Australia with a branch to the Sunshine Coast, with an initial design capacity of more than 36 Tbps. The Sunshine Coast branch is the first undersea fibre optic cable to land on the east coast of Australia outside of Sydney.

According to FCC public notices, the Cable Landing License for JGA South is still pending by the date of above announcement. JGA South is currently in commercial operation under a Special Temporary Authority (“STA”). On February 3, 2020, Google, as the landing party in Guam for JGA South, filed the FCC a Request for Special Temporary Authority (“STA”) to begin commercial operation of the JGA South cable system prior to the FCC’s grant of the cable landing license application. The FCC granted the STA on February 18, 2020. The STA for commercial operation of the JGA South will be expired August 17, 2020, valid for a period of 180 days. 

As mentioned in the request for STA, the JGA South consortium is actively engaging with the Team Telecom agencies for the national security and law enforcement review of the JGA South cable system. Team Telecom is currently drafting a letter of assurances based on that review, and that Applicants will be required to execute such letter of assurances as a condition to the Team Telecom agencies issuing a notice of non-objection to grant of the cable landing license application for the JGA South cable system. 

JGA South greatly improves communications networks from Australia to Asia and the United States by enhancing network diversity and expanding onward connectivity.

JGA South terminates at Equinix SY4, easily accessible across Equinix’s Sydney campus and will soon be connected in Brisbane. Not only is JGA South the fastest path from Australia to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Guam, but it also interconnects seamlessly to all RTI cables through GNC – RTI’s neutral cable landing station and data centre on Guam.

JGA South is a milestone for AARNet to reach into North Asia. The recent impact of the new coronavirus on the Australian research and education community has been both unexpected and devastating. AARNet moved immediately to procure additional capacity on our existing links into North Asia to meet the increased demand for video conferencing, remote learning and personal communications.

JGA South, a consortium cable among AARNet, Google and RTI, is the southern segment of the Japan-Guam-Australia Cable System, between Piti, Guam and Sydney, Australia, with a branch to the Sunshine Coast. JGA South was manufactured and built by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN). JGA North, the northern segment between Minami-Boso, Japan and Piti, Guam, is a private cable with RTI as the sole investor. JGA North is being manufactured and built by NEC Corporation and is scheduled for completion in summer 2020. Both JGA North and JGA South will interconnect in Guam at GNC, a neutral and combined cable-landing station and data centre.
The JGA South cable system is one of RTI's major assets which include:

  • Southeast Asia-United States Cable System (SEA-US), commercially available since 3Q 2017, with an initial design capacity of 20 Tbps;
  • JGA South, now commercially available, with an initial design capacity exceeding 36 Tbps;
  • JGA North, will become commercially available in summer 2020, with an initial design capacity of 24 Tbps;
  • Hong Kong-Guam Cable System (HK-G), will become commercially available in 2H 2021, with an initial design capacity of 48 Tbps;
  • Hong Kong-Americas Cable System (HKA), where RTI is a consortium member and will own an initial design capacity of 6 Tbps;
  • Hermosa Beach (HMB), a carrier-neutral 1MW scaled facility located in Hermosa Beach, California landing four international subsea cables connecting Los Angeles to Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Hawaii and Guam; and
  • Gateway Network Connections (GNC), a purpose-built carrier-neutral 2MW data centre landing JGA North and HK-G, and which will enable connections to all Guam cable landing stations.


JGA South ready for service
JGA South ready for service, Source: RTI