Second cut found in Tonga Cable as Digicel connectivity returns

Mobile network in Tonga returns thanks to SES Networks satellites.

The subsea cable that provides Tonga with broadband, and connects to the Southern Cross Cable via Fiji, has suffered a pair of cuts.

Both were in shallow water, with satellite connectivity provider SES Networks stating the cause could have been anchors.

The island has been without its cable connection since January 20, with its Digicel mobile network returning thanks to SES satellites.

"We have worked closely together with Digicel in the past in the Asia Pacific region, and now we're able to implement together our Signature Telecom Solution in a record time in Tonga," SES Networks vice president Imran Malik Khan said.

"We are especially pleased to help Tongan people get back online while efforts to repair the Tonga Cable System cable are taking place."

Local media reported on Monday that access to social media from Tonga had been filtered out to free up bandwidth.

Soon after the outage happened, Kacific used a Ku-band satellite to provide local ISP Ezinet with internet and voice capacity for priority communications.

The 827km cable between Tonga and Fiji that connects to the Southern Cross Cable went live in August 2013, and was funded jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. It was later extended out to the Ha'apai and Vava'u islands in April last year.

The 60Tbps Southern Cross NEXT cable was originally going to traverse Tonga waters, but was changed to go through Wallis and Fortuna waters instead.

Fiji, Tokelau, and Kiribati have signed onto the $350 million NEXT cable due to go live later this year.

SUBSEA CABLES ACROSS THE GLOBE

  • Vocus' Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC)
  • Vocus' North West Cable System (NWCS) between Darwin and Port Hedland, and the new Tiwi Islands spur being added
  • The Australian government's Coral Sea subsea cable, being constructed by Vocus to connect Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands and funded through the foreign aid budget
  • Google's Dunant transatlantic subsea cable between Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast
  • The Indian government's Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar islandssubsea cable, being built by NEC
  • Southern Cross Cables' NEXT subsea cable system between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, being built by SubPartners
  • The Trident subsea cable system connecting Perth with Singapore via Indonesia
  • The Jupiter subsea cable connecting the US, Japan, and the Philippines and being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW
  • The Hawaiki subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the US
  • Superloop's Hong Kong cable
  • Telstra's Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable between Hong Kong and the US
  • Telstra's Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) between Hong Kong and the US
  • Google's Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system
  • The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) subsea cable connecting China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, owned by a consortium including China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, NTT Communications, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, StarHub, Chunghwa Telecom, CAT, Global Transit Communications, Viettel, and VNPT, and being constructed by NEC
  • The Southeast Asia Japan 2 cable (SJC2), which will have 11 landing stations in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, being built by NEC and funded by a consortium including China Mobile International, Chunghwa Telecom, Chuan Wei, Facebook, KDDI, Singtel, SK Broadband, and VNPT
  • The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE), connecting Singapore and Hong Kong with the US, being funded by consortium including Facebook, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and China Mobile International, and being built by NEC
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(Image: SES Networks)