Nynex Corp, the New York and New England phone company, is a whole lot more these days, and its ambitions are to double its size in the next seven to 10 years. It also wants an ambitious 10% of the world telecommunications market, which does not sound quite so off-the-wall when you recall that, having […]
Nynex Corp, the New York and New England phone company, is a whole lot more these days, and its ambitions are to double its size in the next seven to 10 years. It also wants an ambitious 10% of the world telecommunications market, which does not sound quite so off-the-wall when you recall that, having been thwarted in its ambitions to hold the US end of Cable & Wireless Plc’s PTAT-1 transatlantic cable by Judge Harold Greene in his regulatory role, it is now the inspiration behind and leading partner in the monumental FLAG Fibre-optic Link Around the Globe. FLAG Ltd has now finalised construction and finance agreements to build what will be the world’s longest fibre optic submarine cable, linking telecommunications carriers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia with a record 17,000 miles of fibre. The cable system will take 27 months to build at a fairly modest capitalised cost of $1,500m, and is scheduled to go into service on September 6 1997. It runs from the UK to Japan passing business centres and high-growth regions on the way. More than 40 carriers around the world have signed agreements to buy capacity on the cable, including the 12 landing parties, which also have responsibility for landing the cable in their countries. Sponsors in the US, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Thailand finalised the agreements to build FLAG on July 3. The cable system will use 326 optical amplifiers to maintain the integrity of the optical signals along its route. Work will start immediately on land crossings and landing stations for the cable system and ships will begin to lay the cable in November 1995, starting in the Mediterranean and Red Seas near the Egyptian landing points of Alexandria and Suez, with several cable ships working simultaneously to lay cable at different points along the route. The landing points are in the UK, Spain, Italy, Egypt, the United Arab emirates, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Korea and Japan. More than 600 miles of fibre will be laid underground at two land crossings along the FLAG route – one in Egypt, the other in Thailand, and the system will be built by AT&T Submarine Systems Inc and KDD Submarine Cable Systems of Japan. China was added under an agreement between FLAG Ltd and the Chinese Directorate General of Telecommunications to land the cable in Shanghai: the first intercontinental submarine telecommunications cable to serve China.