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Remember when in its efforts to obstruct Cable & Wireless Plc’s participation in the first fibre optic cable that was to be laid across the Pacific by the International Digital Communications Ltd consortium, the Japanese Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications argued that the cable was not needed and would result in surplus capacity? Funny, that – the object of the Ministry’s protectionism, Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co soon decided that it had better get into the game and agreed to lay a second cable with AT&T Co, and now there are five fibre cables laid or planned across the Pacific, with the fifth announced just yesterday when AT&T said it would invest $402m in TPC-5, the first transpacific fibre optic system to use optical amplifiers; the $1,120m TPC-5 network will be a 15,600-mile loop to links the US mainland with Hawaii, Guam and Japan; AT&T, which will have a 35% stake, is the lead investor, with 46 other carriers from 34 countries also investing; it will be a self-healing network that will avoid breaks in service by shifting speech, data and video signals to spare fibres on the network to restore service; and Kokusai Denshin will take a 15% stake, investing some $190m in it; the first links will start operations by the end of June 1995, and the full network is due to be operational by end-December 1996.

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CBR Staff Writer

CBR Online legacy content.