About The Project

Fibre Optic Cable Systems

Cables span the vast distances of the Pacific ocean, liking the majority of islands. The last decade has seen new cables connecting French Polynesia, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu to Pacific hubs like Australia, Fiji, Guam, Hawaii, and New Zealand. What these new cables don't do is connect Pacific Islands to each other.

Background

Many telecommunications networks in the Pacific interconnect not directly but via international carriers in the United States or Australia. This has a profound impact on both the cost and the performance of regional traffic. While web traffic is slowed, real-time collaborations are rendered unusable, creating barriers for inter-island collaboration.

Research

The project seeks to understand intra-island and inter-island communications and barriers preventing it. Commercial, education, government, and development agencies were interviewed, with an emphasis on Pan-Pacific businesses and initiatives. RIPE Atlas probes were supplied to Pacific networks to measure their topology and performance.

Strategy

Informed by regional communications requirements and the physical and economic realities of submarine fibre optic cable systems, the project seeks to produce a regional peering strategy. This plan will suggest interconnections that will achieve a good balance of cost and performance for both telecommunications providers and their users.

Learn More

Findings of the project have been presented in several forms at conferences around the Pacific:

Initial research for this project was funded by the Information Society Innovation Fund & the Network Startup Resource Center. Ongoing support for the project through 2020 is provided by the APNIC Operational Research Fund.

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Credits