After introducing the investor-owned undersea cable model with Atlantic Crossing 1 (AC-1) in May 1998, Global Crossing Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda) launched a global network of both undersea and terrestrial fiber projects. Now the carrier is returning to where it began to build Atlantic Crossing 2 (AC-2), a $500 million, 2.5 Tb/s undersea fiber optic cable slated for service in the first quarter of 2001.
AC-2 will add a third cable across the Atlantic for the Global Crossing network and integrate with the two cables of AC-1, which are in service. To enhance the reliability of the transatlantic network, Global Crossing seeks diverse landing sites for AC-2. Global Crossing is considering sites in the UK and Ireland for the eastern landing, and sites in the US along the New England or New York State shoreline.
AC-2 represents an undersea capacity increase of more than 25 times what is now available on the trans-Atlantic routetwice the capacity of any undersea cable previously announced, according to Global Crossing. It also cites forecasts that call for bandwidth demand to increase 80% per year on the route.
Global Crossing upgraded the capacity of AC-1 from 40 Gb/s to 80 Gb/s in the fourth quarter of 1998 (see Tyco to Upgrade Atlantic Crossing and Global Crossing To Expand Transatlantic Capacity).
Global Crossing says that it is in the final stages of selecting vendors to supply and install the new system. It currently relies heavily on Tyco Submarine Systems.