Tonga has cable connection to outside world restored

The Pacific nation had been reliant on satellite access for the past fortnight.

Second cut found in Tonga Cable as Digicel connectivity returns Mobile network in Tonga returns thanks to SES Networks satellites.

Tonga's two-week period without a working subsea cable to Fiji has ended.

The cable had originally fallen over on January 20, and a second fault was subsequently found; however, RadioNZ reported on Saturday that the connection to the main island has been restored.

On Friday afternoon, the Tongan government had said it would take up to 18 hours to splice the cable before services would resume.

"The work to splice the cable on Tonga's side started at 7am this morning. After the splice, several tests will be conducted, which will take up to 10 hours," Edwin Liava'a, CEO of Tonga Cable, said at the time.

"By midday tomorrow, the international submarine cable should be back online if there will be no major complications."

By Saturday evening, it was expected that Tonga's telcos would be back using the cable connection.

While the cable was down, satellite providers rushed to fill the gap. Mobile network provider Digicel used SES networks, and local ISP Ezinet used a Kacific Ku-band satellite, while New Zealand telco Spark helped get Tonga Communications back online using Intelsat satellites.

Spark said it had restored 100Mbps of connectivity within five days of the outage, which is approximately a quarter of the nation's usual usage.

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.

RadioNZ reported that the connection to the northern islands was expected to take another couple of days, as it too has been cut.

It was also reported that Tonga Cable is looking into a second cable connection to the Pacific nation.

tonga-fault2-fiji-side-eoc-a.jpg

(Image: Tongan government)
tonga-fault1-fiji-side-kink-a.jpg

(Image: Tongan government)

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