The FCC has granted a landing license to Verizon Business to operate a submarine cable system called the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) that will link the U.S. mainland with China.
Verizon said the cable, which is the first next-generation undersea optical cable system directly linking the United States and mainland China, will be landed in Oregon. Utilizing advanced optical technology to meet the dramatic increase in data, IP, and voice traffic between the United States and the Asia-Pacific region and also within the region, the cable is the first undersea system to land on the West Coast in seven years.
A consortium is constructing the TPE cable. In addition to Verizon Business, partners include China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom, and Chungwa Telecom of Taiwan.
The 17,000-kilometer cable's 1.28-Tbps capacity enables customers to access the system at speeds of up to 10 Gbps, which translates into 120,000 simultaneous calls. It should be operational later this year.
Responsible for the cable's landing and operational activities in the United States, Verizon Business also is building out network facilities to link the TPE cable to its U.S. domestic network. Verizon Business said its involvement in the TPE cable represents a continuation of its strategy to remain in the forefront of submarine cable systems development.
In another submarine cable development last week, Alcatel-Lucent said it will deploy a high-speed submarine cable network connecting Tahiti to Hawaii. Called "Honotua" -- Tahitian for linking toward the open sea -- the cable will also connect with some of the smaller islands in the French Polynesian archipelago. The 4,600-kilometer cable is scheduled to be completed in 2010.