U.S.-based telecommunications company SubCom has been awarded a $600 million contract to build a more than 10,500-mile fiber optic subsea cable connecting Singapore with France via Egypt and the Horn of Africa.
The contract was awarded as part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure (PGII), launched Monday by President Biden and G7 leaders during a summit at the Elmau Castle in the German Alps. The PGII partnership seeks to mobilize $600 billion in global infrastructure investments by 2027. President Biden was set to announce Monday a U.S. commitment of $200 billion over the next five years through grants, federal financing, and leveraging private sector investments.
The Southeast Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 6 (SEA-ME-WE 6) submarine telecommunications cable is one of the flagship projects of PGII. The submarine cable will stretch over 17,000 km and connect countries across the region with high-speed, reliable internet connectivity. The cable will include branching units to 11 countries and utillize SubCom’s SL17-SDM cable.
The SEA-ME-WE 6 system will consist of three segments: an undersea segment from Tuas (Singapore) to Ras Ghareb (Egypt), a terrestrial segment from Ras Ghareb (Egypt) to Port Said (Egypt), and another undersea segment from Port Said (Egypt) to Marseilles (France).
“SubCom is honored to drive the design, manufacture, and deployment of SEA-ME-WE 6, a system that will reach more than 11 countries and benefit hundreds of communities beyond,” SubCom CEO of David Coughlan said in February after agreeing to the contract with the SEA-ME-WE 6 Consortium. “We maintain the industry’s most advanced technology portfolio and marine installation capabilities, all of which will contribute to a successful project on behalf of the SEA-ME-WE 6 Consortium.”
The system is expected to be ready for service by the first quarter of 2025.
The U.S. Government, including through the U.S. Department of State, Commerce’s Advocacy Center, EXIM, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) commitment of nearly $4 million in additional capacity building to support five countries using SubCom’s technology, collectively helped secure the award of the construction and deployment of the undersea fiber optic cable for SubCom, the White House said in a Fact Sheet.
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