New Telstra service can rapidly reroute around subsea cable outages

Telco reveals ‘continuous connection’ service for three inter-Asia routes

Telstra says that a new ‘continuous connection’ service it is offering on its subsea cable network means that it can swiftly reroute traffic and mitigate the impact of outages in minutes.

The telco began trialling the service in December is now offering it over three inter-Asia routes.

The new service in partnership with Ericsson and Ciena, and employs the latter’s GeoMesh Extreme solution. Telstra said that the extent of its submarine network combined with Ciena’s programmable infrastructure technology allowed it to reroute traffic in less than half an hour if, for example, a cable breaks.

It follows the launch in early 2017 of Telstra’s ‘Always On’ service guarantee for its Hong Kong to Singapore and Japan to Hong Kong cables routes, which the telco said allowed traffic to be rerouted within a matter of hours when necessary.

Telstra said customers for the new service could include financial services organisations, carriers and cloud services providers.

The announcement by Telstra, Ericsson and Ciena came ahead of the Pacific Telecommunications Council Conference in Hawaii.

“The Asian region presents one of the most challenging environments for subsea cable systems,” Telstra’s head of connectivity and platforms, Nadya Melic, said in a statement.

“Busy and shallow shipping ports in Hong Kong and Singapore, high-levels of fishing activity and an ecosystem prone to natural disasters, all threaten to disrupt or damage underwater infrastructure.”

“Damage to a subsea cable can take weeks or even months to fix,” Melic said. “But with our new continuous connection service, we are able to reroute customers impacted by potential damage to another subsea cable path on our three path network in less than 30 minutes.”

“We are seeing a growing trend for more agile, resilient and adaptive networks that use flexible, instrumented photonics and advanced software control,” said Ciena vice-president and general manager of Asia Pacific and Japan Rick Seeto.

“These innovations allow network providers like Telstra to not only scale their network and boost capacity but also protect traffic and service delivery.”

Earlier this week Telstra said it had bought additional capacity on the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable, which connects Japan, the US, Taiwan and China, and the FASTER cable system, which lands in Japan, Taiwan and the US.

That announcement built on a string of purchases to augment the company’s subsea cable network.

In early 2018 Telstra said it would purchase a half fibre pair on the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable, as well as 6 terabits on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN). Both cables will connect Hong Kong to the US and are expected to be completed in 2020.

Other recent investment include Telstra in December announcing it would buy a 25 per cent stake in Southern Cross Cable Network (SCCN).

Telstra said it would purchase “substantial capacity” on the existing Southern Cross cable network, which links Australia to the US west coast, as well as the new Southern Cross NEXT.

The telco has also invested in a half fibre pair on the INDIGO system, which stretches from Singapore to Perth, and from there to Sydney. INDIGO is currently undergoing testing following the cable being completed last year.

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