New Trans-Pacific Submarine Cable Completed

A six-company consortium has completed the first phase of a new submarine cable that will connect the United States with China and Taiwan, allowing for faster telecommunications speeds between the U.S. and Asia, the companies announced Tuesday. The Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) fiber-optic cable stretches 11,000 miles (over 18,000 km), and will offer 6T bits of bandwidth when fully completed.

Verizon Business, AT&T, Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, and China Netcom, China Telecom and China Unicom -- the latter two of which are merging as part of China's telecom industry restructuring -- formed the TPE Submarine Cable Consortium in mid-December 2006 at a predicted cost of US$500 million. It is the first such cable to link the U.S. and Chinese mainlands directly.

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