Ten days after Tonga Cable System customers lost connectivity when the Polynesian provider's 827-kilometer fiber optic submarine cable was cut in two places, satellite broadband now delivers business-critical connections as subscribers and tourists await repairs and a return to normal that will take a while to deliver.
Despite knowing the problem it faces, Tonga Cable has no estimated timeframe of repair -- partly because of the difficulties of working with underwater fiber-optic cable amd Tonga's remoteness and partly because the cable itself has shifted from its original underwater trench.
Stormy weather and lightning may be the culprits that knocked out the underwater cable deployed to support the island's approximately 100,000 residents. Others theorize a fishing boat, dragging anchor in shallow waters, may have disturbed the cable which, if true, calls the design into question. When it explored potential hazards to and from the Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project, co-funder the World Bank cited Tonga's tropical weather as a prospective hazard to cable already trenched in the ocean bed.
After being separated from its broadband connection, the kingdom turned to Kacific Broadband Satellite's ku-band network as its sole source of Internet. Kacific, which provides high-speed satellite broadband services to the Pacific island's government, business and other customers, provisioned engineers to supply additional Internet and telephone capacity for priority communications, Tonga Cable Director Paula Piveni Piukala said in a statement.
"We appreciate Kacific's assistance, as Tonga currently has no other internet or mobile phone connectivity to the outside world," Piveni Piukala said. "Kacific's satellite service ensures that essential services can be maintained as we work to resolve the issue."
Tonga Cable defined essential services as rebooking tourists' plane tickets and business or government access, not checking social media or downloading movies.
The satellite service was limited and slower than Tonga residents and visitors were accustomed to and so, when a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) from cable ship Reliance found one, then two, cuts on the submarine cable, the operator and its customers were pleased to know what caused the long interruption.
On Jan. 29, the ROV discovered the first fault on the cable, which had moved 100 meters south-east from its original location. Earlier today, it found the second fault after relaunching the ROV on the night of Jan. 29, Etuini Liava'a, Tonga Cable CEO who is aboard Relliance, told local newspaper Matangi Tonga.
Scalable, with a life expectancy of about 25 years, the Fiji-Tonga Cable System benefited businesses, residents and tourists -- a primary source of income for the small country. Connectivity also allowed Tonga to interact with its regional neighbors and play a larger role in the global community. Tonga Cable was told the submarine investment was almost indestructible, reports said.
More than a half-million Irish residents expected to have fiber broadband by 2020. But Ireland's National Broadband Plan has not even begun — and government officials today postponed any agreement again.
In a new report and searchable database, Broadband Now discovered fiber is the is the least expensive technology powering subscribers' connections. But the poorest, most rural residents pay the most for connectivity, regardless of underlying infrastructure.
As Vice President of Global Healthcare at AT&T, Maria Lensing oversees the telecommunications operator's technology and professional services offerings across the spectrum of medical providers, from solo practitioners and walk-in clinics to giant hospital chains, medical-device vendors and consulting firms. Lensing also sees more interest from traditional service providers -- cable and telecom operators looking to expand or build relationships with their own medical communities, perhaps as an adjunct to smart-home successes or standalone.
Lensing, who took on this role almost a year ago in May 2018, oversees both the sales and technical teams responsible for developing growth initiatives for AT&T's Global Healthcare business -- including products, services and industry-specific solutions. She also very actively promotes business minority inclusion, education and female empowerment programs and has been recognized both within and outside AT&T. Some awards she's received include "Top 40 Under 40" and "Super Woman in Business" from the Memphis Business Journal.
Join Maria Lensing, VP of Global Healthcare at AT&T, on Tuesday, April 23 at 12:00 p.m. ET / 9:00 p.m. PT, when she's the guest on BBWN Radio, hosted by Broadband World News Editor Alison Diana. Register now!
So far, the agenda includes a discussion of technologies such as fiber and 5G; defining the needs and solutions for a widely diverse range of customers; partnering for success in a typically slow-moving, budget-constrained market; learning and dispersing best practices from other verticals and within other business groups; promoting diversity and female empowerment when so many say they're doing so but so little has changed; and what she hopes to accomplish in another year in this role.
Register and post your questions for Maria on BBWN Radio's easy-to-use chat board. We will get to as many questions as possible. Please post questions before and during the broadcast. Once you've registered, you will be led to the chat board page. Talk to you on April 23!
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Just when you thought the answer to your next technology direction question was clear, the noise around multiple new technology options fills the Internet and airwaves. Multiple 5Gs are being deployed; there's CableLabs' 10G initiative; the ITU and IEEE are toiling around 50G PON – and we haven’t even talked about Wi-Fi6 yet! Is any of this real, do you have to pay attention or can you just let the dust settle and then decide?
Since waiting is often not the best option, let’s demystify technology options, their impact on your business, and how to prepare for whatever the future brings.
In this webinar, Service Providers will learn:
Current state of 5G and how it affects everyone, not only mobile network providers.
Latest technologies being developed and how they will benefit their networks and subscribers.
How to prepare their networks for the future – whatever it may hold.