A new pact formed last week between 17 major telecommunications companies hopes to avoid a repeat of what occurred last December. An undersea earthquake off the coast of Taiwan disrupted Internet cables, causing communications to be down for several days. The plan is to complete a $500 million undersea fibre optic cable between Southeast Asia and the U.S., which the group claims will be relatively safe from natural disasters. The fibre optic cable is already under construction and is projected to begin operating in December 2008.
Alcatel-Lucent and NEC have been awarded the contract for the development of the 12,428-mile long link called the Asia-America Gateway which will connect the western U.S. with Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii. Telekom Malaysia is leading the band of 16 other companies and says the connection will "provide an alternative and a more secure link for traffic from the region to the U.S.A. ... This low-risk route was designed to avoid the volatile and hazardous Pacific Ring, thus mitigating the effects from natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis."
News source: DailyTech