Australian ISP Vocus Communications has switched on its new Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) ahead of schedule to compensate for a major service disruption on the Perth-Jakarta length of the Sea-Me-We 3 subsea cable.
The company has implemented an emergency cutover of services that were running through the SMW 3 onto the new ASC.
According to Vocus group CTO Simon Smith, while the company is still in the final stages of testing the ASC ahead of its official ready-for-service date of September 14, the cable is ready to stand in for the damaged SMW 3.
“After consulting our team conducting final testing, we are confident that ASC is ready to provide reliable and effective services to mitigate the effect of the SMW-3 outage,” he said.
“Even though we had announced Vocus ASC Ready-for-Service on September 14, our priority is ensuring our customers continue to access the connectivity they require. The SMW-3 outage has forced our hand, but our testing on ASC is ahead of schedule and we are confident enough to press ASC into early service.”
Vocus Group is part of the consortium of companies operating the SMW 3, which launched in 2000 but has been subjected to a number of significant outages due to cable breaks. But the company is the sole owner and operator of the ASC, a 4,600km cable system linking Perth in Western Australia with Singapore, via Christmas Island and Jakarta in Indonesia.
The four-fiber pair ASC cable will deliver at least 40Tbps of capacity – compared to 4.3Tbps for the SMW-3.
Smith added that the SMW-3 consortium is working on an ETA for when the SMW-3 will be restored. In a status update, Vocus has separately indicated that previous outages of this nature have taken more than four weeks to restore.
The SMW-3 cable has 39 landing points across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It is the longest subsea cable in the world.
Finally, Smith said lighting up the ASC early is not expected to have any impact on customers already committed to going live on the cable at its official ready-for-service date.