Indonesia's new mega-telco to build 18,000km submarine cable to the US

Coming out party for Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison

Indonesian telco Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison and independent cable builder and operator Inligo Networks have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct an 18,000km submarine cable linking Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, and the US.

The Networks Asia Connect Cable System (ACC-1) will offer 240Tbit/sec of capacity, using 40 fibres each carrying 40 frequencies. Its planned route will touch five Indonesian cities including the tech manufacturing centre in Batam, Singapore, the northern Australian city of Darwin, the fledgling nation of Timor Leste, Tokyo, and eventually terminate in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, with a stopover on the US-controlled island of Guam.

Inligo Networks will build the cable.

The announcement is something of a coming out party for Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison – an entity formed last year after protracted negotiations between Indonesia's Ooredoo and CK Hutchison.

Hutchison is the Hong-Kong based industrial conglomerate that backed the rise of the "3" mobile brand, including in Indonesia.

In 2020, Hutchison and Ooredoo announced plans to combine their businesses, but it took over a year – and several extensions of negotiations – before the deal was signed off on January 4, 2022.

Just five weeks later, the combined company has shown the benefits of its combined might: the ability to commit many millions to this submarine cable, and a plan to use it for both consumer and business connectivity products. Presumably, those services will help the company grow market share as it chases dominant market leader PT Telkom.

Indonesia's government is all-in on all things digital, and just last week communications minister Johnny Plate expressed a desire for the nation to become a regional hub for submarine cables.

Plate got his wish. So did Australia, as wiring Darwin to the world is a goal of governments at all levels down under. Inligo is building a terrestrial network that links the rest of Australia to Darwin, and claims that once ACC-1 and the trans-Australia link both light up, the connection will deliver the sunburnt country's lowest-latency connection to South-East Asia.

Construction of the cable is expected to commence this year, with full operations in 2024.

One possible wrinkle: in late 2021, Ooredoo picked Huawei as provider of some radio and core network products. And of course, Beijing is exerting increasing influence over Hong Kong. The US prefers Huawei not have any role in submarine cables that reach its soil, and has expressed concern about Hong Kong's independence. All of which means this new cable's technical specs will be scrutinized very closely. ®

Broader topics

Other stories you might like

  • Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America
    We asked what they will do to prevent cases being built against women. So far: Nothing

    Period- and fertility-tracking apps have become weapons in Friday's post-Roe America.

    These seemingly innocuous trackers contain tons of data about sexual history, menstruation and pregnancy dates, all of which could now be used to prosecute women seeking abortions — or incite digital witch hunts in states that offer abortion bounties.

    Under a law passed last year in Texas, any citizen who successfully sues an abortion provider, a health center worker, or anyone who helps someone access an abortion after six weeks can claim at least $10,000, and other US states are following that example.

    Continue reading
  • Never fear, the White House is here to tackle web trolls
    'No one should have to endure abuse just because they are attempting to participate in society'

    A US task force aims to prevent online harassment and abuse, with a specific focus on protecting women, girls and LGBTQI+ individuals.

    In the next 180 days, the White House Task Force to Address Online Harassment and Abuse will, among other things, draft a blueprint on a "whole-of-government approach" to stopping "technology-facilitated, gender-based violence." 

    A year after submitting the blueprint, the group will provide additional recommendations that federal and state agencies, service providers, technology companies, schools and other organisations should take to prevent online harassment, which VP Kamala Harris noted often spills over into physical violence, including self-harm and suicide for victims of cyberstalking as well mass shootings.

    Continue reading
  • Proposed Innovation Act amendment would block US investment in China
    We're just astounded to see bipartisan efforts in Congress in this day and age

    A draft US law that would, for one thing, subsidize the US semiconductor industry, has gained an amendment that would turn the screws on American investments in foreign countries.

    The proposed update states that semiconductors, large-capacity batteries, pharmaceuticals, rare-earth elements biotech, AI, quantum computing, hypersonics, fintech and autonomous technologies are all included as sectors in which foreign investment would be limited, specifically in "countries of concern," or those considered foreign adversaries, like China. The amendment also would restrict construction investments and joint ventures that would involve sharing of IP and monetary rewards.

    US entities that have invested in a sector or country covered under the amendment would be required to notify the federal government, and the proposal also includes authorization for the executive branch to form an interagency panel responsible for reviewing and blocking foreign investments on national security grounds, the Wall Street Journal said of the amendment.

    Continue reading
  • NASA to commission independent UFO study
    The truth is out there, and the space agency intends to find it – scientifically

    Over recent years, Uncle Sam has loosened its tight-lipped if not dismissive stance on UFOs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena", lest anyone think we're talking about aliens. Now, NASA is the latest body to get in on the act.

    In a statement released June 9, the space agency announced it would be commissioning a study team, starting work in the fall, to examine unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs, which it defined as "observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena."

    NASA emphasized that the study would be from a "scientific perspective" – because "that's what we do" – and focus on "identifying available data, how best to collect future data, and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022