January 7, 1997--AT&T today announced activation of the northern segment of TPC-5 undersea cable system, concluding construction of the largest and fastest transpacific undersea fiber optic network to connect the United States and Asia.
TPC-5 links Guam, Hawaii, Japan and the United States mainland. The newly completed northern segment connects the Bandon cable landing station, located about 400 miles southwest of Portland, to landing points at Miyazaki, Japan, and San Luis Obispo, California. The network's southern route, placed into service in 1995, continues from San Luis Obispo to landing points at Keawaula, Hawaii; Tumon Bay, Guam; and Miyazaki and Ninomiya, Japan.
More than double the length of the 9,850-kilometer TPC- 4, the 22,560-kilometer TPC-5 is also four times faster, having the ability to transmit 5 gigabits per second over one fiber pair -- capacity equal to 320,000 simultaneous phone calls.
It is also considered to be the first undersea fiber cable network in the Pacific to feature a closed loop rather than a point-to-point system, thereby offering added restoration capabilities. In the unlikely event of a network disruption, service can be restored by shifting voice, data and video signals to the spare fiber on the network.
AT&T-SSI and KDD of Japan designed, engineered and installed the network, which utilizes SL2000 undersea fiber optic technology jointly developed by AT&T and KDD.
TPC-5 cost $1.24 billion to build and involved 78 carriers worldwide. AT&T is the leading investor in the network, with a 29 percent stake, or a total $366 million investment.
AT&T-SSI, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T, supplies undersea telecommunications systems worldwide. It operates a fleet of seven cable ships and has installed enough undersea cable to circle the earth six times.