India gets fibre link to UK

May 7, 2008 // 9:25 a.m.

Tags: #bandwidth #cable #eig #europe-india-gateway #fibre #fibre-optic #india #internet #uk #undersea

India is due to get its first direct fibre-optic link to the UK in a £350 million project dubbed the Europe India Gateway.

According to the press release issued yesterday, the project is aimed at expanding network capacity and ensuring routing diversity amongst the thirteen planned landings.

The cable will start off in India and terminate in the UK, but not before taking in the United Arab Emirates, Oman (shame they didn't have it when I lived there), Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Libya, France, Monaco, Morocco, Gibraltar, and Portugal in a frankly impressive 15,000 kilometre journey.

The fibre-optic cable will allow for an eye-watering total capacity of 3.84 terabits per second, and will carry video, data, and voice traffic between the nations involved. Not only will this badly-needed boost in capacity improve international connections, but the increased diversity offered by another backbone cable will mean critical systems are more likely to keep communicating even in the not-too-rare cases of earthquakes in the area.

The EIG system is the brainchild of a consortium of telecommunication companies, in alphabetical order: AT&T; Bharti Airtel; BT; Cable &Wireless; Djibouti Telecom; Du; Gibtelecom; IAM; Libyan Post, Telecom and Information Technology Company; MTN Group Ltd; Omantel; PT Comunicacoes, S.A.; Saudi Telecom Company; Telecom Egypt; Telkom SA Ltd; and Verizon Business.

All going well, and providing suppliers Alcatel-Lucent and Tyco Telecommunications – the company chosen to supply the gadgets for Google's own undersea cable – are able to fulfil their end of the contract, the system is due to go live some time in 2010.

Anyone here from any of the countries involved and looking forward to the boost in speeds? Share your thoughts in the forums.
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