Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) connects Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and the US.
PLCN offers the first direct submarine cable connectivity between Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the US, spanning approxiamately 13000 km. PLCN offers the shortest RTD between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
PLCN is the first and currently the only submarine cable system in the world to deploy with C+L band optical technology. C+L band technology had been technically feasible when PLCN project was luanched in the end of 2015. The deployment of C+L band almost doubles the per fiber pair capacity and the system capacity in PLCN. Later in 2018, the Space Division Multiplexing (SDM) technology was available and more popularily selected as an alternative solution to increase system capacity while decreasing cost per bit.
The PLCN cable system consists of 6 fiber pairs, with 240 channels of 100Gbps in a single fiber pair (100G * 240 WL), 24 Tbps per fiber pair and 144Tbps for the whole system.
The PLCN cable system is co-building by Google, Facebook and PLDC (Pacific Light Data Communication). SubCom supplies the PLCN system with its industry-leading and innovative C+L band solutions.
Google owns one fiber pair in PLCN, connecting Hong Kong and the US with a branch to Toucheng, Taiwan on this fiber pair. Google acts as the landing party in the US and Taiwan. In the US, Google lands the PLCN cable at Equinix LA4 data center where houses the PFE and SLTEs of the whole PLCN cable system in the US territory.
Facebook owns one fiber pair in PLCN, connecting Hong Kong and the US with two branches to the Philippines on this fiber pair, landing at Baler, Aurora and San Fernando, La Union respectively. The Baler and San Fernando cable landing stations are owned by the Philippine state-owned firm Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
PLDC owns four out of the six fiber pairs in PLCN, acts as the landing party in Hong Kong. PLDC lands the cable at Deep Water Bay CLS in Hong Kong and installs their SLTEs at TMH, Telecom House data center in downtown, Wanchai, Hong Kong.
Designed with Open Cable structure, each of Google, Facebook and PLDC can operate its own PLCN fiber pair(s) independently.
On Januray 29, 2020, Google and Facebook applied for a Special Temporary Authority (STA) to begin commercial operation of PLCN US-Taiwan and US-Philippine segments. The STA application was not approved by the FCC.
On April 8, 2020, the FCC granted the Request for Special Temporary Authority (STA) to begin commercial operation of PLCN US-Taiwan segment upon Google's application on April 2.
On June 17, 2020, Team Telecom recommended to the FCC, based on national security concerns, that the FCC partially deny the PLCN's direct connection between the United States and Hong Kong, and partially grant the license application for PLCN’s U.S. owners and for PLCN’s connections between the United States, Taiwan, and the Philippines.