Red tape? In Hong Kong?

02 Jun 2010

It may not quite be a bandwidth boom, but a report for the Hong Kong government predicts continued “high growth” in capacity demand in coming years.

No surprise there, but the Frost & Sullivan study also recommends that the business-friendly territory cut red tape and improve transparency in dealing with subsea cable applications.

Hong Kong regulator Ofta commissioned the report to examine likely demand for cable capacity and how the city could continue to attract new cable systems.

Under its conservative scenario, F&S predicts demand for external bandwidth into Hong Kong would increase from 0.52 Tbps in 2008 to 2.91 Tbps in 2015. At the other end of expectations, it says capacity demand could increase at a CAGR of more than 35% over the next five years to reach 4.34 Tbps by 2015.

But F&S said potential new cable firms “may find it difficult to get hold of the necessary information” about approvals required to land a new submarine cable.

It recommended increasing the transparency of the application processes to make sure applicants understand the requirements and flow of the processes.

It also noted that clearances could be required from as many as nine different agencies, such as the Lands, Environmental Protection Department and Home Affairs departments, and called for the establishment of an ad-hoc working group to expedite approvals.

Hong Kong is currently served by nine submarine cables, with a combined lit capacity of 6.5 Tbps and total maximum capacity of 43.2 Tbps. Five of these are club cables.

Two new cables – the AAG and AGN-LA cables - were landed last year, while the 15-year-old T-V-H cable is likely to be retired in 2010.

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