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120 Gigabit Pipe To Oz Begins Operation 236

dustpuppy writes: "The new Southern Cross Cable Network connecting Australia to the US is now operational. Featuring 120 Gigabit capacity and with a latency of 70 msec, the new trans-Pacific cable is 120 times the capacity of the existing Australasia/North America connection. Now us poor Aussies can download our mp3s that much faster! You can read more about it here." Interesting, too, how it's constructed. From the article: "The network consisted of two separate cables configured in three self-healing rings, with all three rings to be completed early next year. The duplicate-ring construction gave the network greater redundancy - if one side of the network was damaged or became inoperable, traffic could be transferred to the other side instantly." Neat.
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120 Gigabit Pipe To Oz Begins Operation

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  • Good idea ... works for about 10 years ... then what?

    I don't know about the rest of the stuff, but if I were the one designing it, I would have made it so that you could easly string newer faster/better cables so you wouldn't have to re-dig everything.

    Chris C.
  • It's been pretty slow here in NZ for the last few months, hopefully this'll speed things up a bit.
  • when completed, it will (temporarily) be the largest capacity undersea cable in the world. /mktg2.htm

    skip to near the bottom for:

    For the industry, such differing forecasts may cause a lot of problems. For example, C. Sivasankaran's Sterling group is planning a Rs 900-crore project to set up an undersea optic fibre cable link between Chennai and Singapore with a 2.5 terabit per second capacity (1 terabit equals 1,000 gbps), while Sunil Mittal's Bharti Enterprises has tied up with Singapore Telecom (SingTel) for another sub-sea cable with 2.5 terabit capacity. BPL is also considering joining hands with other telecom companies to set up a sub-sea cable link.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    No plans for Asia? check BIG PLANS!
  • Hey, I was trying tom be funny, not informative or insightful! Don't blame me!
  • Except that signals don't travel at the speed of light. It's about 2.3*10^8 m/s in cable and 2.0*10^8 in fiber.
  • Isn't there any concern that an incredibly fake looking great white shark might bite through this and explode...?

    No, wait, that was Jaws 2.

  • In global terms, the two places aren't very far apart. In Sydney terms, they're like inner-north-east and inner-south-east of greater Sydney. Both are well disconnected from the city, and you have to cross the harbour (ie: The Bridge(tm)) of equivalent to travel between the two. You could drive a car between the two in about 45mins on a weekend, and an 75mins on a weekday.

    Both locations are light-industrial with a small population of IT type stuff.

    The interesting thing about it is that both Alexandria and Brookvale are about 10Km inland from the sea. I haven't figured that bit out yet...

  • I rememeber a long time ago (late 80s) reading a writeup of the Morris Internet Work attack. At that point, I had no idea what Unix really was, or TCP/IP. I just remember the paper talking about an attack coming on in port something and sending a packet back to port something else.

    I had this visual of this computer with somesort of interface that had x number of physical ports on it...kinda like a LOT of serial ports or something just sitting there.


  • Interesting timing for this. For some reason, I can get to .au sites no problem, but cannot get to or So Australia goes high-bandwidth, and half of America drops off the net.
  • Thats the old measure. The number is so odd because they wanted to maintain backwards compatibility.
  • Just what the world needed, a group of nations in the South Pacific with more bandwidth for sending spam. Anyone ever see Telstra's toothless AUP?

    spamparadise.mp3 [] (Mirror this please, don't kill my ISP)

  • And they are all aussie citizens mate.
    Actually, other than Crowe (who has lived in Australia since he was about 6) the others (like Sam Neil, Anna Paquin, Crowded House, etc) probably don't seeing as the only reason to get Australian citizenship (if you're a Kiwi) is to vote. Conversely if you are an Australian citizen you have to vote.
  • You know a robotech geek came up with that name.
  • <ACCENT TYPE="Aussie twang">
    "Today on Sport Fishing Television we see the amazing catch of a truly monster Great White Shark, and you'll be truly amazed what we find when we split open its belly - 30 thousand kilometers of fiber optic cable - What a monster!"
  • by jjr ( 6873 )
    In Austrailia is most likely that single customer the is hook up to the pipe.
  • Naturally this is true, because currently the only telcos. laying out high bandwidth lines are american ones - why? because the vast majority of internet content is located in the US & Canada, and that's what people want to access.

    There really aren't many South Korean websites that constitute a demand for direct Japan-SK. connections. Europe is currently at the stage of internet development that N.A. was in say '97, '98, hell they still have internet cafes. Once the local content goes up, local telcos. will start building extra-N.A. network infrastructure.
  • by danny ( 2658 )
    I can remember playing netrek [] on US servers in the early 90s. The best latency we ever got was around 200ms to West Coast servers - that was when the first fiber came online, but before there was enough use to saturate it. Now I get around 300ms to (that and are the machines I still use for overseas connectivity testing - vangogh was one of the famous machines from the Berkeley CSRG, while CMU hosted bronco, then the world's leading netrek server).

    We used to joke about netrek being a network testing tool - it was one of the first real-time multiplayer Net games.

    Those were the days (even if Australia did get thrashed by CMU playing with 750ms satellite lag on an Australian server).

    Danny (ICMP Redirect).

  • "remember we won the AMERICAS CUP twice"
    You can win it as many times as you want bro, just remember - we won it first. ;)


  • There is no "filter server" sitting at the network choke points. The censorship authority has issued a few "takedown notices" for material to be removed from Australian servers (the material inevitably bobbing up on US servers a few milliseconds later), but net free speech continues on totally unaffected.

    Basically, the government is *totally* uninterested in censoring the net - it just likes the legislation so it can point to it and convince the wowsers that it is doing something to protect the Children. While I dislike this kind of thing, I would prefer a situation of bad legislation being ignored to bad legislation wreaking havoc by enforcing it.

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:04PM (#623307) Journal
    The speed of life is a bitch, ain't it?
    Yeah, and before you know it you're dead, face down on your keyboard, submitting "Last Post" to Slashdot. :)

    Have fun!


  • Care Factor "ZERO"
  • I propose diggin a big hole to australlia. We could cut latency to 50ms or so.

    Time is Change.
  • some of the first Modems were developed in Perth, Western Australia

    grow a brain ass hole
  • exactly what I was getting at ... this really doesn't make much sense except for the "now"
  • also i remember seeing recently on the News that something like over 40% of australians use the internet (i cant remember the exact figuire so correct me if im wrong)

    get a clue
  • The southern cross is a constellation seen in the southern hemisphere!
  • by Johnny Starrock ( 227040 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:07PM (#623314)
    Yes, but how big are these mp3s? Are these punk mp3s? Leonard Cohen mp3s? =)

    But then it's like most (usually lying) women say: "it doesn't matter how big the mp3 is, only how long you can maintain your connection."
  • not completely true,

    ever heard of Project Echelon? collaboration between US and australia for monitoring phone conversations, internet traffic etc.. for terrorist activity

    email me if you're interested and ill give u some URL's
  • by quarrel ( 194077 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:11PM (#623316)
    The official site for this is [].

    While I'm here, someone mentioned that 70ms is pretty slow for this type of connection - which amazes me, because it blew me away that they could get it that low. (remember, we're talking 1 direction latency here - not ping times, which would atleast be double)

    A quick calculation:

    A quick check of the net tells me that the distance from Sydney (where the cable is landed in .au) to Los Angeles is 7487 miles (according to a travel agent flight distance site - who knows?), or about 11979km. (pretty similar to the diameter of the earth, which is 12742km)

    The speed of light is roughly 299,792,458 m/s so, the best (according to current physics :/) time we can do is about:

    39.957 milliseconds

    Just at the speed of light we lose almost 40ms, then they've gotta switch it at several points along the way, and while optical switches EXIST, it seems unlikely they're doing optical switching yet.

    All in all I reckon the 70ms figure is AMAZING..

  • That's not actually accurate. That's a map of a private network operated by the incumbent telephone company in Australia. Yes, they do have a huge chunk of the Internet market here, but that isn't a map of Australia's connections to the Internet.

    There's a whole bunch of others owned by different Telcos and stuff. It's a messy picture, and no one provider (or even two providers) has been able to offer a good (read fast + reliable) service out of the country.

  • English motherfucker!!!! DO YOU SPEAK IT?
  • get your facts straight ass hole
  • is that your actual view

    if so it's the normal crappy view of the rest of the world that most westerners have

    you can't ban Doom if no-one has a PC!!

    and the last time i looked the people Johannesburg (check sp!) weren't naked
  • I know the subject sounds absurd, but this sounds uncannily like one Napster idiot observing my ResNet connection and remarking, "Hey, that's a fast connection you have. I'm thinking about getting T3 for my computer, too."

    I'm a fan of more bandwidth as much as the next guy, but what price does this come to for the Aussies so they can "be just like the Americans"? 120 Gb redundancy connection. Not to mention, they won't be sharing this with anyone; this single pipeline connects Australia with the US. How many people does Australia have in comparison to Asia or North America? I'm too lazy to do this, but someone calculate average Kbit/sec/person for the continents, assuming everyone was online and accessing some obscure document in the US, say, the front page of Slashdot. (:
  • At 3 (generally observed atlantic expansion, or "What I was taught throughout high-school") inches per year, I doubt we'll have to worry about plate tectonics destroying these cables. No, I'd be more worried about undersea lava eruptions, deep core oil drilling, or sinking ships severing the cable.

  • <parody>
    The whole world doesn't revolve around Australia, Slashdot. How about some American articles for a change?

    -Legion (donning Euro-flame-proof suit)
  • by addaon ( 41825 ) <> on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:44PM (#623331)
    Okay, now Australia has a broad enough pipe that they might as well be part of the US, from a network-routing point of view. Western Europe has been in that situation for a long time; there's no real difference between getting something from Britain, France, Oklahoma, and now, Australia. When is the rest of the world going to join in? The "ring of fire" around Africa seems to have dropped out of the news. I know of no major plans for eastern europe or asia. Is the rest of the world economically well off enough that soon they will be players, too?
  • by yetisalmon ( 70744 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:45PM (#623332) Homepage Journal
    If I were in charge I'd just connect a long phone line.
  • by idiot900 ( 166952 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:47PM (#623335)
    I've been a nerd nearly all my life, but it still floors me to think that it takes longer for information carried by sound to travel between two people yelling to each other from opposite ends of a stadium in Sydney than it does for information carried by the Net to travel between two people chatting from opposite sides of the globe...anybody else feel this way?
  • Seems like a high latency for that type of connection... Wouldn't 70 usec (microseconds) make more sense? Or maybe 7 msec?
  • by ( 142825 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:48PM (#623340) Homepage
    It's great that Oz gets fat pipes, but the filter servers will still slow things down.

    Or are they going to forgo their censorship?

  • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:15PM (#623341) Journal
    Speed of light is about 300,000 km/sec

    Network distance from Australia to USA is about 15,000km, noting that the network is a ring and it's said to be 30,500km long.

    15000/300000=0.050 seconds=50 ms.

    So 70ms is not too bad, considering that the speed of light in fibre optic cables isn't as fast as in space, and there is probably some network latency at the ends and the repeaters.

    That's why I'm an HPB. It's about 150msec(Pacific Ocean) + 120 msec (56K modem signal processing time) + 50-100 msec for various internetwork latencies. So I end up with 370msec on a good day.

  • by efuseekay ( 138418 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:16PM (#623343)
    It's probably more amazing when you realize that :

    (a) light travels slower in glass (fibre optics)
    (b) it does not travel straight, but bounces off the edges of the fibre optics line.

  • I wonder when there will be a big fat pipe going from western europe to east asia that does not depend on the USA.

    Routing through the mideast is a little dicey given the political instability. The infrastructure costs make a fat pipe via siberia a real pain.

    The point is simply redundancy, as well as opening up the net to other areas of the world. a fat pipe going through that part of the world would help this out tremendously.

  • by B747SP ( 179471 ) <> on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:17PM (#623346)
    No, they're not laid next to each other. They follow quite different (and well seperated) routes. Also, there's not actually two cables. There's a whole bunch of them, criss-crossing in different places. It looks like a good plan to me.

    See Map of network [] for details.

  • it's like some beautiful dream. Would someone care to comment on the politics of this? Why in the last year we've gone from modem to cable to dsl and now they're actually working on the backbone? Who the hell is behind this? Maybe we should send them flowers or something.
  • Thanks for clearing that up. I give that maybe 1 bit of information. Unless the chant varies scansionwise? I mean you have two teams busting their asses to raise your testosterone and epinephrine levels, and yet both sets of fans are chanting the exact same thing?


  • Whales getting tangled in the cables is also an issue. Harder on the whales than the cables.


  • DWDM (dense wave-division multiplexing) lets you run many wavelengths simultaneously within a single fibre - probably this pipe is already using this, but DWDM will continue to improve, meaning that you can just upgrade the kit at each end to upgrade your bandwidth. 1 Terabit, here we come...
  • Good points mostly, but you seem to be saying that ATM is the only way to go for such big pipes - this is far from the case, particularly for IP traffic, due to the problems of scaling SAR on ATM router interfaces (i.e. slicing packets into cells then reassembling them). See 4-03.html for some background.

    Most large providers seem to be going for packet over SONET for IP traffic, and will ultimately go for MPLS alongside this. Eventually, SONET may well disappear or shrink as DWDM-native protection/failover becomes available. The good news is that the ATM cell tax is going away, and the cost of managing networks is going down (every node will be an IP or MPLS router, or an optical switch). See for more on MPLS, it provides most of the benefits of ATM with much less complexity and overhead.
  • Nah, the second is defined as the time it takes for x to make n oscillations. Define x and n.


  • Apples and oranges. You don't need a lot of bandwidth to communicate "Sydney rules!" (or whatever it is people shout about at Ozian athletic events). If you did need more bandwidth, you'd start getting into electrons and photons -- a heliograph or semaphore flag would do the trick, but a cell phone (preferably with SMS, given all that shouting) would probably be more convenient.

    What I find weird is the topology. Suppose all the people in the stadium were using a chat room to taunt each other. If they all use AIM, they've created an ad hoc network with its hub on one side of the planet and its nodes all on the other. And if they use various other interoperating chat networks, it gets even more complicated.

    Of course to the Freenet [] folks, all this dispersion is not weird, but useful...


  • by honkycat ( 249849 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @09:23PM (#623379) Homepage Journal
    The speed of light is roughly 299,792,458 m/s

    Actually, the speed of light is _exactly_ 299,792,458 m/s. That number is what defines a meter. :-)

  • 1) wireless is just not that fast. Wireless cannot in any way compete with hardline for speed.
    2) high frequency RF, needed for any kind of bandwidth, tavels in straight lines.
    3) They run the cable all that way becuase that's where the data is, and that's where the market is.
    4) Furthermore, they run the cable all that way because it's a bigger, safer investment.

    10 years? we're still using undersea cable that's been down for 25 years+.... don't understimate just how much data that is.
  • Southern Coss Cable Network.
    Their main site is here []
    and a nice little animation which shows how the network works is here [].
  • Actually, I think Pale Ale is generally considered to be better. I enjoy them both, and Cooper's Dark Ale, too.

  • Well, in single mode fibres, light still bounces off the edges. (To be precise, in graded-index fibre optics, the light does not "bounces" but nicely do a sine wave through). So, it does not travel straight.

    The different between single and multi mode fibre is the "mode". A mode basically means a frequency of light, so in single mode fibres we use monochromatic light ( I think it's 1550nm).

    Most longhaul fibre optics are single mode, because the attenuation is much less (think multimode fibres not as optimized : losses as you described in your post). In single mode fibres, the losses are generally due to the fact that geometrical optics is just an approximation of the true nature of light.

    I wasted a year of my life designing fibre optic networks. At least now I can show off my "knowledge" in /., so it's not a total waste.
  • There was a time (early 90's) when it was quicker to get a packet from Vancouver, BC to Australia than it was to get one from Vancouver to Edmonton, Alberta (equiv: Washington to Montana). The reason, it turns out, is that a professor at the University of Alberta was continually backing up Gigabyte drive full of data from the UofA to a machine in California.

    The result was that he singlehandedly saturated the cross-Rockies pipe. The rest of us plebes with less-than joined-at-the-hip access to the national net got to deal with massive latencies (well over 300ms on average).

    With this new pipe to Australia, it looks like we may be back to the old trick of it being faster to send a packet pan-pacific, than to the next province. (though for happier reasons).

    Oh, never mind. I currently get 45ms to a machine in Edmonton... still better than the Southern cross pipe.

  • As a network equipment design engineer (I do crossbar / networking fabric ASICS), I am always just amazed at the progression of speed. I am working on a next generation super layer 3 (IP) switch (I won't say where (The Big Guy on the block...)). The box will support many tera-bits / sec inside a 6 foot enclosure...

    Get this: we are using 7+ GHz serial channels to move the data around the box (input linecard to fabric to output linecard). When you factor in the speed of electrons across the wires, the length of the wires, the data rate per serial link, and the number of parallel serial links that make a channel, at any given time, there can be a complete 64 byte ethernet min size packet living only on 20" copper wires.

    Also, we are making a switching decision every 300 ps (trillionths of a second).

    :) Great time to be an engineer!

  • I doubt it. It was just a marketing department who was using a well-known S.hemisphere image.

    The Southern Cross is a well-known constellation in the southern hemisphere - as well known as the Plough/Big Dipper is in the northern hemisphere.

    In fact, Australia's flag has the Southern Cross constellation on it, just like Alaska's flag has the Plough/Big Dipper (Ursa major).

  • I think Telstra must have their US pipes coming out of Perth. (From machine in the west)

    6 Pos1-1.paix1.PaloAlto.telstra.

    Mind you, all of the packets from my home machine go through Sydney *sigh*

  • by Trinition ( 114758 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @02:28AM (#623403) Homepage
    OK, that sounds great and all, but what about plate tectonics (SP?)?

    I'm not sure about the Pacific floor, but I know the Atlantic floor is expanding -- so this applies to trans-Atlantic cables at the veyr least.

    As the plates expand at the rate of [inces/feet?] per year, what happens to the cables? Is the growth small enough that the cables won't stretch to a critical frailty until after they've outlived their usefulness?

  • Yep the speed of light is exactly 299,792,458 m/s in vaccuum. A second is defined as the time required for 9,192,631,770 vibrations of a Cs atom. Read about it here []
  • at least the urine isn't pink like yak-milk is...

  • This is pushing the topic a little bit, but is there a map or other representation of the bandwidth that various countries/continents have coming into/going out of them?


  • well yes, actually when I first got on the net I was astounded. I had never really played with network cards and I'd only seen LAN's from a distance. When someone tried to explain the concept to me they got stumped on the word "connections", ie. the cables connecting distant computers, and they explained it as a bunch of modems. Seriously, this is how the Internet was explained to me in 1992: Imagine you have a whole lot of BBS's around the country and you give to each of them another telephone line and modem and connect them all together. Then I asked how they could get more than one person's messages across the one phone line (you have to remember that I had a Commodore 64 with a 1200/75 baud modem and the guy was trying to explain the school unix system to me) and they turned to HS/Link, a transfer program that actually allowed you to upload and download files AND talk to the sysop, all at the same time. The concept of the packet was introduced to me, the idea of routing but never any mention of how the data got from one LAN to another. So when I finally managed to get onto the net (I had dailup access to a BSD box on a service called BrisBug) I was astounded at the number of people I could talk to at the same time on IRC. I eventually got a shell on a box in the states (SunOS) and learnt how to code in C, and eventually I did learn what frame relay was. I never really got over the whole thing though. That I was actually talking to a computer halfway around the world. With every keystroke on my C64 I was initiating computation on a half dozen routers, drilling down the TCP/IP stack on the destination machine, hitting the shell and bouncing all the way back and it appeared to be no slower than typing on a BBS (at 1200/75 it really does appear that way). Even today my mind congers up images of packets screaming through tubes in a duality of physical connections and conceptual ACK/NACK maintained TCP connections and I can't help but look on with awe.
  • You saw it here first... AUSTRALIANS DO NOT DRINK FOSTERS. We export the whole production to places where people (1) think we're cool, (2) think we drink Fosters, and (3) drink Fosters because they want to be cool like us.

    They don't even bother advertising the stuff here in Australia anymore.

    Actually, I was having a drink (Victoria Bitter) in a pub just yesterday, and I asked one of my colleagues: "Have you ever seen an Australian drink Fosters other than under duress?".

    He answered in the negative. (Under duress includes no other beer available!)

  • by bug1 ( 96678 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @10:38PM (#623413) 41389-2000Nov10.html

    "A 155 megabit circuit between Sydney and California, licensed for 15 years, which cost $US10.3 million, was discounted by 18 per cent if purchased before the November sales deadline."

    It cost about 20c/MB retail for bandwidth in aus. This works out to a markup of 1400 times (see 1) between long term and short term prices.

    I hope this link does bring down retail prices.

    1) $ 10300000 / (15years * 155megabit * 52weeks * 7days * 24hours * 60minutes * 60 seconds) = 0.014 cents / megabit
    I think i worked it out correctly
  • 3
    4 GigabitEthernet3-0.cha-core3.Brisbane.telstra.
    9 *

    Perth? What the hell are you doing in Perth? That's the wrong side of the country?

  • I got that impression from an article mentioned in slashdot [] earlier this year.

  • that one customer.

    "We've already got one customer connected," Mr Stokes-McKeon said.

    imagine that you had that whole pipe to yourself.
  • In time, I think. Remember, someone's gotta pay the bills. Most people in Africa don't have computers, and many parts of Asia, like India and China, are not very wealthy areas either. I believe when the money is there, which it will be, then there will be a compelling interest to invest in high bandwidth pipes, but not until then.
  • anybody else feel this way?

    Yes! I've always been infatuated with the concept of how fast we can move information. In high school, one of my favorite physics problems was about a radio DJ, and figuring out which took longer: the time the EM wave takes to get to the receiver, or the time his voice takes to get to the mic? (It depends on distance and I forget the numbers, but the mic took longer.)

  • Building global optical networks is big business at the moment, and I would guess guaranteed cash flow for anyone that does so despite the enormous expense (reflected in the rush to grab optical fibre producers, layers and so on at high margins).

    Look at for instance, with its funky network maps - good stuff for infrastructure junkies! If you look also at their implementation strategy (namely, cross atlantic, and so on) you can get an idea about where they expect to pull a lot of revenue from (build the low risk things first), and Asia is certainly there. Despite the recent hiccups in the Asian business environment, it is seen as an up and coming region.

  • A fiber can carry most anything you throw at it. Modern fiber optic systems use "Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing", or DWDM, which is a fancy term for "several signals on one fiber, each using its own color, and a prism at each end to split things up".

    In order to reach the press release bandwidth, you'd need to toss an OC-192 on every possible wavelength of every fiber in the cable. Riiight. Keep in mind that these beasts are managed by corporations, which are political by their very nature. Efficiency is not their strong point. Also remember that this whole network was designed for circuit-based telecommunications traffic, not the packets most Slashdotters are familiar with. The process of making the twain meet is not a straightforward one.

    Most telco networks don't run at anywhere near 100% utilization. Admittedly, wet cable is expensive stuff, so it's not often wasted. But if anyone believes that the ring could carry that amount of traffic NOW, all I can say is, stick to your software and avoid telco networks, for everyone's benefit.

    Furthermore, fiber of this sort doesn't directly affect the internet. You don't simply jam a transcontinental fiber into your Ethernet card, folks. Packet and circuit networks don't get along with each other. First, you cram your packets into an ATM stream, then you wrap the ATM data in a SONET transport layer. If you're using a really big ATM switch, you might be dealing with as much as an OC-48's worth of bandwith in one chunk here. But we're not done yet...

    See, you don't want to plug that OC-48 straight into the fiber, because then what would happen when you want to add more? So you're going to use the signals coming from your routers as tributaries to feed a big honkin' optical terminal like an OC-192. All the SONET payloads from the various tributary interfaces will be concatenated and shot out the high speed side. The lasers in said terminal will be tuned to a particular wavelength, and used to feed a DWDM coupler. Finally, the multicolored signal will head to the beach and go for a swim. Several Erbium-doped amplifiers later, (search for EDFA and do some reading!) the signal emerges in another continent and the whole process reverses itself.

    Keep in mind that any one company probably doesn't buy bandwidth in chunks larger than OC-12. Your packets will move more freely, yes, but nobody's gonna be seeing 120 Gigabits any time soon. The amount of paperwork, and the sheer number of companies that're involved in simply setting up one circuit, is phenomenal.

    Oh, and as far as survivability goes, that's old news. SONET was designed from the ground up to incorporate a redundant ring architecture. The data's always transmitted over two fibers at once, and the receiving device picks the cleaner of the two incoming streams. Network planners are careful to route the two paths diversely, so no one failure can bring down the ring. Ideally, someone can backhoe an entire fiber conduit and not knock down any traffic because every ring served by that conduit was ALSO served by another one on the other side of town. Ditto goes for undersea cables.

    I'm this close to setting up a little site to introduce computer geeks to telco concepts, so y'all don't keep swallowing these press releases whole. Anyone wanna help?
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Wednesday November 15, 2000 @03:50AM (#623435) Homepage Journal
    Actually, it's not that much bandwidth. Assuming a normal 16QAM signal (and that's being rather conservative), you get roughly 4 bits/Hz. Therefor, 1 Gbps is roughly 250 MHz. One TV channel is roughly 6 MHz, so this is only about 40 TV channels. One satellite (C band) is 26 transponders, or half the needed bandwidth.

    Looked at another way: 250 MHz bandwidth at 26 GHz is a Q of 100.
  • No more crappy coffee pot cams for me!

    Now I can see koalas and kangoroos go about their daily lives eating the euycaliptis trees and bouncing around carelessly. A whole new avenue of NET entertainment has come my way!!!!
    happy happy joy joy :-)
  • Much of this was done for the benift of New Zealand (Australasia is not just Australia), who as a country with a huge percentage of net users and a huge uptake of dsl and cable, suck most of what we look at (pron, /.) from the US.

    Over half of this new pipe was paid for by the NZ telco Telecom. [] and from their press releases they plan there will be no spare bandwith by 2002

    But the coolest thing about the cable has to be the cable healing robot robot []
    ; ; ;Fitted to the cable maintenance vessel, CS Pacific Guardian, the Southern Cross ROV has bulldozer-like tracks that enable it to move along the sea floor at depths of up to 2,500 metres. It is also equipped with six horizontal and four vertical thrusters to enable it to "free swim" where the seabed is too soft to support the weight of the ROV.

    bats = bugs
  • Correction make that post 74.

    Ok now I remember I am insane.

    Good: Everything is normal.

  • The only problem is the in Australia we get charged big time for what we download from the US, but we don't get paid for what gets downloaded from us.

    A bigger step forward would be for the US Backbone providers to come up with an equitable cost arrangement.

  • Given the phenomenal amount of money Japan spends on this sort of thing, surely Japan (and for that matter South Korea) would ensure that they've got more than adequate bandwidth?
  • and proud of it, because it is the nerd who truely understands how remarkable this really is and his (invaribly) reflection shows a form of respect that many would do well to understand. The teenybopper who thinks the Internet is all about chatting to their mates from school using AIM and downloading mp3's just simply puts it down to magic. Somehow it works and that's all that matters and, even if he were curious, may never truely understand it enough to shape these highly technical concepts into a visualization of real world experience. And yet, when the same slack jawed porn surfer sees an artist's rendition of electrons spinning on the event horizon of a black hole or "the computers in the movies" they stare bewildered and amazed.
  • by LiTHium[ion]+ ( 201828 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:51PM (#623462)
    The bandwidth has nothing to do with latency. Even if it were going at the speed of light, there'd be latency issues when going halfway around the globe. 7 ms, as you suggest, is faster than it would take light to travel the same distance.
  • by bmetz ( 523 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:52PM (#623465) Homepage
    The speed of life is a bitch, ain't it?
  • I would prefer a situation of bad legislation being ignored to bad legislation wreaking havoc by enforcing it.

    There is the possibility of selective enforcement. Nobody is getting punished so everybody does it. But if the State, the judge or the local boss dislikes you, they can use the law against you.
  • Why don't we just use this measurement on /. from now on?

    So you could pretty much transfer everything on Napster over there in about 43 seconds.

    1 128Kbps MP3 ~= 5MB
  • I Moderated this as Informative and it got marked as Funny.

    Moderation Totals:Interesting=1, Funny=1, Total=2.

    I don't get the joke.

  • Just remember that: 70 ms is a latency, not a speed.

    "Speeds up to 70mph" makes sense; "Speeds up to 70ms" does not.

    Maybe I should have been more clear on this one; I had thought the quote would be enough.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [].
  • It can't get any slower...
  • With all the innovations in wireless web an so on I don't get why they would decide to run cable all that way. And if bandwidth was the case why not run to a closer contenant like ... Asia?

    This is good now, but what about when this becomes yet "another slow line" ... now you have a nice cable running to america .. that's about it.

    Good idea ... works for about 10 years ... then what?

  • What filters?

    The censorship in place in Australia restricts what you can have available on your server, not what you can download from overseas. At no point on the network is filtering mandatory.

  • ...will someone set up as a new link for the slashdot trolls?
  • This is great news from the point of view of 'the Internet guy' in a company in Australia. Despite having three separate 2Mbit/s frame links to the net (that's huge in Australian terms) already, I have to deal with constant outages, delays and problems.

    That's largely because my provider is crap, but also because the only usefull way out of the country is by a fat link on the other side of the country. Theres lots of landline to carry traffic, and it seems to get broken a lot. The second route ex-Sydney is oversubscribed, and is useless as a contingency when the main one dies.

    I'll be the first to admit scepticism that this thing would ever be completed, but now that it is, the whole world changes for US. A whole bunch of new world-class providers will move down here now, instead of the second rate crap we've had to date.

  • by intmainvoid ( 109559 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:58PM (#623496)
    A map of Australia's links to the US and the rest of the word is here. []
  • Actually, in this case the light DOES travel straight. Multimode fibers bounce light at different frequencies off the edges of the fiber to achieve higher bandwidth. The tradeoff there is that even though you're using total internal reflection- the world's best mirror- some of the light escapes every time it is reflected. In contrast to that, single mode fibers are much smaller, and the light bounces off the sides of the fiber much less. The end result is that a single-mode fiber will support much longer distances. I seem to recall that standard single mode fiber supports distances up to 10km, but that may be different for more recent fibers. They will still have to use a shitload of repeaters though.

    Note that this information is only sort of accurate, it's just what I've gleaned from discussions with people who really know what they're talking about. If you'd like to get a more scientific picture of what's going on, go here: vel op/fiber/fiberoptic.html []
  • by Daemosthenes ( 199490 ) on Tuesday November 14, 2000 @08:59PM (#623515)
    "The new Southern Cross Cable Network connecting Australia to the US is now operational. Featuring 120 Gigabit capacity and with a latency of 70 msec, the new trans-Pacific cable is 120 times the capacity of the existing Australasia/North America connection"

    Australian for "More Porn"

    54% Slashdot Pure
  • They finally replaced the Tin-Can-And-String(tm)(c) link to GEO with something better.
    "If ignorance is bliss, may I never be happy.
  • Unfortunately, high-bandwidth wireless (anything near this scale) is impossible. Not just hard. The sheer amount of spectrum it would take up to get 1G/s, given that you can only shove so much information over so narrow a band, is prohibitive. With small-scale wireless, it's not a big deal; the signal fades out in significantly less than a mile, and other transmitters can use the same range. To actually get worldwide wireless, without repeaters, would mean literally flooding the airwaves... ouch. Especially for future expansion; the US has enough difficulties now just splitting up the spectrum we have.

The absent ones are always at fault.