Presenting the first look at new developments in submarine technology and O&M, we have Dean Veverka, Director, Network & VP, Operations, Southern Cross Cable Network.

He deals with the ICPC recommendation for Best Industry Practice for Protection of Submarine Cables and covers.  To start with, there is dissemination of information.  One of the options right now is the Vessel Monitoring System, but that is hardly real time.  The better option is the AIP: Automatic Identification System.

“The advantage of this is it cab be real time… we can contact those ships before an incident happens.  If they're over a cable.”

Other sources of information are terrestrial patrols.

National Legislation is also needed as a deterrent to cable damage.  Legislation in Australia created cable protection zones that “really beefed up the criminal penalties,” says Veverka.

Zone maintenance Agreements are another important aspect of cable protection.  It gives control over maintenance ships and creates dedicated vessels for system maintenance.

To give a quick update of ICPC endeavors, Veverka shows a shows a list of five activities: The Green Repeater Initiative, Deep Sera Mining Leases – MOU, Bali Workshop on Best Practice Guideline, Workshop Cable Security Issues, and new publications like Submarine Cables – Handbook on Law and Policy.  Each of these is the effort of a group within ICPC, respectively ITU, ISA, APEC, and CSCAP.

 

The next presenter will give a look at the legal side of the industry.  Presenting is Kent Bressie, Partner of Wiltshire & Grannis LLP.

“A lot of these is in the United States, which continues to set the agenda, and not always in a good way.”

The first focus of Bressie's presentation is on disclosure and the questionable activities of the NSA.  The use of telecoms infrastructure for spying has led to threats of competitiveness of U.S. Providers.  And loss of customer trust.

This is followed by the Team Telecom operators in the U.S.  Team Telecom has continued to focus on equipment procurement.  In the 2013 review of SoftBank's acquisition of US carries Print and Clearwire, the mitigation agreement required the removal of certain Chinese equipments.

Licensing times have also proven a problem, according to Bressie.  If you have government contracts, licensing has taken as little as 16 days.  This can't be said for other companies.

“I'd like to give a little good news on the fee front,” says Bressie.  The FCC proposed in 2012 to reform rules for the Universal Service Fund.  It would force a substantial increase in fee by having a fee apply to more than just the international systems.  This proposal has stalled, due to conflicts with new leadership.

The last thing that Bressie touches on is the CSRIC and cable protection.  The CSRIC has formed an undersea cable working group to promote resilience of US undersea bale infrastructure.  This is due to conflicts with offshore energy development projects, including offshore wind, wave, and tidal energy and oil and gas projects, along with sand dredging and beach replenishment projects.

By March 2015, the working group will produce three reports recommending industry best practices, government policies, and more.