SEA-ME-WE 4 Fibre Optic Submarine Cable Project
The SEA-ME-WE 4 sub-sea cable currently spans 20,000 km linking South East Asia, The Middle East, North-East Africa and Western Europe. The fibre optic system was constructed using a Cable Ship and equipped with a Sea Plough designed to dig trenches, lay cable in the trenches and cover the cable under the sea bed. The system uses state-of-the-art Terabit technology to achieve ultra-fast data transfer (1.28 Terabits/second), and supports a wide range of communication media from telephone, internet, multimedia and various broadband applications. The SEA-ME-WE 4 consortium, comprised of sixteen international telecommunication companies, currently performs maintenance on the system, providing Cable Repair Ships to respond to areas where the cable has been cut or disrupted.
The following paper will highlight the construction of the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable, the procedures used in laying the cable, the impact the fishing industry has on submarine cables like SEA-ME-WE 4 and how to prevent submarine cable damage.
“The Worldwide History of Telecommunications”, Anton A. Huurdeman, 2003
International Cable Protection Committee, “Fishing and Submarine Cables Working Together”, Second Edition, Stephen C. Drew & Alan G. Hopper, February 23rd, 2009
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