AT&T and NTT Communications have announced joining the Trans-Pacific Express Consortium, a group designing and constructing an 18,000-kilometer fiber-optic submarine communications cable between the Asia-Pacific region and the United States. The six original consortium members are: China Netcom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom and Verizon Business. The consortium says that the TPE project is the first multi-terabit optical cable directly linking the U.S. mainland and East Asia, and that the cable has a design capacity of up to 5.12 Tbps.
According to the consortium, with the addition of AT&T and NTT Communications the TPE cable will add a sub-sea cable link to Japan. TPE landing sites also are located in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States.
The consortium said it expects the additional link to Japan will be completed in March 2009, and the Japan to United States link in early 2010, subject to regulatory approvals.