Figure 31 - System Investment, 1990-2019

Figure 31 – System Investment, 1990-2019

Since 1990, the industry has invested $50 billion in submarine telecoms cables — comprising more than 1.4 million route kilometers — annually averaging $1.64 billion worth of investment and 47,000 kilometers of deployed systems. (Figure 31) (Figure 32)

Figure 32 - System Deployment, 1990-2018-01

Figure 32 – System Deployment, 1990-2018-01

From 2015 to present, nearly $8.5 billion was invested in submarine cable projects, or an average of $1.7 billion and 56,400 route kilometers per year. Over the period, 23 percent was invested in AustralAsia systems, 17 percent each in EMEA and Indian Ocean Pan-East Asian systems, 16 percent in Transpacific systems, 14 percent in Americas systems, 12 percent in Transatlantic systems and 1 percent in Polar systems. (Figure 33)

Figure 33 - Regional Investment in Submarine Fiber Systems, 2014-2018

Figure 33 – Regional Investment in Submarine Fiber Systems, 2014-2018

From 2014 to present, submarine system financings accomplished by MDBs include the following:

2014 – Seabras-1 // International Finance Corporation

$4 million in Seaborn Networks Holding, which is building the 40Tbps subsea fiber optic cable. This will link Brazil (landing in Sao Paulo) directly with New Jersey in the United States. The total project cost over the next two years will be $509 million.

2015 – Tui-Samoa // Asian Development Bank and others

$25 million in partnership with an Australian Grant of $1.5 million and World Bank of $16 million combined to promote a submarine cable system connecting Samoa to regional and global communications infrastructure and improving international broadband connectivity of Samoa.

2015 – eGabon // World Bank

$56 million which facilitated financing of the introduction of the ACE submarine cable and the construction of more than 1,000 kilometers of terrestrial fiber optic — a Libreville to Franceville section that runs along the Trans-Gabon railway line; the Koulamoutou/Lastourville and Franceville/Bongoville/Lekoni road sections, as well as the Franceville/Moanda and Moanda/Bakumba/Lekoko sections going toward the border and connecting with the Congo fiber optic project.

2016 – Central African Backbone // African Development Bank

$51 million loan to countries in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) as part of the Central African Backbone (CAB) project, enabling the effective interconnection of the Cameroon fiber optic network with that of Chad and Equatorial Guinea through the submarine cable NCSCS (Nigeria and Cameroon Submarine Cable System); Gabon and Congo are also to be connected.

2016 – SEA-ME-WE 5 // European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

$50 million loan to Türk Telekom Group, Turkey’s largest telecommunications company, for a branching unit in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast, in south-western Turkey

2016 – Samoa Submarine Cable Project // Asian Development Fund $25; World Bank $16; Gov. of Australia $1.5 million

$32.5 million project for a submarine cable system connecting Samoa to regional and global communications infrastructure.

2016 – Palau-Guam // Asian Development Bank $8.53

ADB has approved two loans amounting to $25 million for a submarine cable project which will support the development of a fiber-optic cable system linking Palau to the Internet cable hub in Guam.

2016 – WIOCC // International Finance Corporation

IFC will be providing a financial package of up to $20 million to fund the ongoing regional expansion of the Company through the acquisition of additional capacity in Africa, increase connectivity to other fiber optic systems, upgrade its capacity on the EASSy cable and purchase network equipment.

2019 – Improving Internet Connectivity for Micronesia Project // Asian Development Bank

The ADB Board of Directors has approved a total of $36.6 million in grants to help fund the delivery of the Improving Internet Connectivity for Micronesia Project. This project will help install a submarine cable connection between Micronesia and a proposed transpacific cable system.

2020 – Cook Islands to Samoa // Asian Development Bank $15; Gov. of New Zealand $20; Gov. of Cook Islands $2 million

The Government of Cook Islands has requested the ADB to support a $37 million submarine internet cable project, which will link the islands of Rarotonga and Aitutaki in the Cook Islands to Samoa, where interconnection to the international internet hubs in Fiji and Hawaii will occur.