The America Samoa Hawaii Cable (ASH Cable) is the international fiber optic cable between American Samoa, Samoa and Hawaii and connects Samoa to the existing global telecommunications infrastructure networks.
The ASH Cable comprises of two cables installed between Samoa, American Samoa and Hawaii.
In addition, the Samoa-American Samoa Cable (SAS Cable) will provide inter-island communication, as well as enabling users in Samoa to access the ASH cable capacity and connect to the global networks.
While ASH Cable and SAS Cable are much smaller than the gargantuan systems across the North Pacific, they will provide more than 40 times the capacity currently in use in both island groups combined.
The ASH cable project is significantly different from the traditional submarine cable provisioning. The Samoan islands are in a fortunate position to re-utilize the former PACRIM East cable between Hawaii and Auckland that runs along the seabed, about 100 miles east of Pago Pago in the island of America Samoa.
The PACRIM East cable was the original fibre optic cable across the Pacific, laid in the 1990’s. It had large capacity then but by today’s standards its capacity is insufficient to effectively service the needs of New Zealand and Australia. As such, larger capacity cables – Southern Cross and Telstra Australia’s Sydney-Hawaii cables with capacities of Terabits – service their needs.
The project involves recovering the PACRIM East cable from the seabed south east of American Samoa, cutting it and laying it into American Samoa at Pago Pago. During the pick-up process, additional cable will be recovered for re-laying between Pago Pago and Apia, Samoa.
Major cost saving has been achieved in relaying the fibre cable as only a small section of the cable is being recovered and re-laid.
The ASH/SAS Cable consists of three cable landing stations, i.e., the Keawaula Cable Landing Station in Hawaii, the Pago Pago Cable Landing Station in American Samoa, and the Apia Cable Landing Station in Samoa. The ASH/SAS Cable was ready for service on 28 May 2009.