Vocus routes traffic across new Singapore cable after SMW-3 outage

New cable pressed into service early.

Vocus has begun routing traffic via the new Australia Singapore Cable (ASC) after a major outage on the Sea-Me-We3 (SMW-3) subsea cable system.

Like the ASC, SMW-3 connects Perth to Singapore.

In a service notice, Vocus said there is a suspected fibre break on SMW-3 approximately 1.2 kilometres from the Singapore Cable Station. The network operator warned that similar faults have taken longer than a month to resolve.

Vocus said last week that it was engaged in a final round of tests on the US$170 million, 4600-kilometre ASC system ahead of it entering service on 14 September.

The decision was made to begin routing traffic over the cable early to minimise the impact of the SMW-3 outage on customers, the telco said. Vocus is a member of the consortium that owns the damaged cable.

“After consulting our team conducting final testing, we are confident that ASC is ready to provide reliable and effective services to mitigate the effect of the SMW-3 outage,” Vocus Group chief technology officer Simon Smith said in a statement.

“Even though we had announced Vocus ASC ready-for-service on September 14, our priority is ensuring our customers continue to access the connectivity they require,” the CTO said.

“The SMW-3 outage has forced our hand, but our testing on ASC is ahead of schedule and we are confident enough to press ASC into early service.”

The company said there would be no impact on customers that have contracted capacity on ASC.

“SMW-3 has unfortunately suffered many unexpected service interruptions in the past few years and Vocus ASC will be a welcome addition, being a newer and more technologically advanced cable, and able to offer a more reliable service than SMW-3,” Smith said.

“It is highly fortunate that our ASC project has been so advanced to be able to swing into action, in an emergency capacity.”

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Tags NetworkingTelecommunicationsSEA-ME-WE3submarine cablesVocusVocus Groupsubsea cable

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