Trans-Pacific Express Consortium Adds Two New Members to Organization

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - During the last 15 months, six original Trans-Pacific Express Consortium members have been aggressively designing and constructing an 18,000-kilometer next-generation fiber-optic submarine communications cable between the Asia-Pacific region and the United States.  Now these six charter members -- China Netcom, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, Korea Telecom and Verizon Business -- are announcing the addition of two new participants: AT&T and NTT Communications Corporation.

AT&T and NTT Communications Corporation signed construction and maintenance agreements on February 28, 2008, and March 14, 2008, respectively, to participate in the TPE Consortium.  With the addition of NTT Communications, the TPE cable will add a subsea cable link to Japan.  TPE landing sites also are located in mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea and the United States.

The TPE cable is the first multi-terabit optical cable directly linking the U.S. mainland and East Asia.  Using cutting-edge technology, the cable has a design capacity of up to 5.12 terabits per second (Tbps).

Internet, video and data traffic has been growing at an exceptional pace over the past few years. The number of broadband Internet users, along with the average size of the content needed by users, has dramatically increased the amount of Internet traffic around the world.  Enterprise and large-business users also require higher speeds and greater capacity on network routes to deliver voice, video and data across the globe as they continue to expand their business globally.  The TPE will support current and future needs for high-speed traffic, as well as enhance reliability by securing route diversity from other submarine cables between the Asia-Pacific region and the U.S.

The segment to be added as the result of NTT joining the TPE Consortium this month is the additional link to Japan, which is expected to be completed in March 2009, and the Japan-to-U.S. link, which is expected to be completed in early 2010 (subject to regulatory approvals).