By Patrick Faidherbe, Laurent Campagne, Georges Krebs and Jean Devos
February 3, 2021

  1. What is a submarine cable hub?

A submarine cable hub is essentially a point where submarine cables interconnect with each other. It is a location where submarine cables very often terminate or, at least, extend a branch.

New York is a typical example of a submarine cable hub where all submarine cables landing there terminate and interconnect with other submarine cables and long-haul trans-USA terrestrial cables. South England and London is a mirror example on the other side of the Atlantic.

Sydney is another example: all submarine cable systems landing in Sydney terminate in Sydney and interconnect with other submarine cable systems or long-haul trans-Australia terrestrial cables.

Marseilles in the Mediterranean is another such case and there are many others.

  1. Configuration of the worldwide submarine cable network.

To better understand what a submarine cable hub is, its relative strength and its location, one needs to consider the shape of the international submarine cable network.

The backbone of the worldwide submarine cable network is a “fibre loop around the globe”, for which one can adopt the acronym “FLAG”, which was very appropriately used to name an old visionary cable system.

It is to be noted that the FLAG includes the five following segments:

  • Trans-Atlantic (essentially London – New York),
  • Trans-USA (essentially New York – Los Angeles and New York – Portland); this segment is by nature a terrestrial segment and the only terrestrial segment in the loop,
  • Trans-Pacific (essentially Los Angeles/Portland – Japan),
  • East-Asia backbone (essentially Japan – Singapore),
  • South East Asia – Middle East – Europe backbone (SEA-ME-WE as another old visionary system was called, followed by several others), essentially Singapore to Marseilles.

The FLAG can be depicted in a simple diagram, as follows.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 116 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 58 or on our archive site here.

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