Five years ago: Net set to get world's longest fibre cable

Telcos sign up to plan to build the world's longest, highest-capacity submarine fibre optic cable network

First published 20 January, 1997

The Internet prepared to go supernova as 90 telcos signed an agreement in Singapore to build the world's longest, highest-capacity submarine fibre optic cable network. The 38,000km Sea-Me-We 3 network will link Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and have a capacity of 10Gbits for each of its twin cables.

BT, Deutsche Telekom, Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Telekom Malaysia and China Telecom are among the 90 companies sponsoring the $1.3 billion pipe which will open for commercial traffic by the end of next year, allowing up to 120,000 simultaneous telephone calls, according to SingTel.

The scheme follows the $1.5 billion Nynex-led FLAG fibre optic cable, linking Europe, the Middle East and Asia, which will go into service this September. The 27,400km FLAG line is backed by over 40 carriers.

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