NJFX Blog

Building Strong Networks: Resilience vs. Diversity

Building Strong Networks: Resilience vs. Diversity

May 29, 2024

In the complex world of network architecture, resilience and diversity are pivotal in ensuring robust, uninterrupted services. Each concept plays a critical role, and their greatest potential is unlocked when they work together.

Resilience refers to a network’s ability to maintain an acceptable level of service in the face of various faults and challenges. Strategies to enhance resilience include implementing redundancy, which involves the presence of duplicate elements within the network infrastructure. This redundancy ensures continued operation and reliability, even when one component fails.

Diversity in network design means incorporating a variety of routes, vendors, technologies, and access points to prevent single points of failure. It involves using distinct and physically separate paths, technologies, or providers for network connections. This strategy is crucial for mitigating risks that could lead to widespread network failures, enhancing the network’s reliability and resilience against failures, including natural disasters or intentional attacks.

How Resilience and Diversity Complement Each Other

The synergy between resilience and diversity is particularly effective. For example, a network that not only has multiple pathways to reroute traffic (resilience through redundancy) but also uses different technology providers for these pathways (diversity) is far more robust. Such a network is better equipped to remain operational under multiple types of failures. The combination of diversified resilience strategies—where the methods for achieving resilience are themselves diverse—ensures that networks can withstand complex, unpredictable challenges.

Businesses must evaluate their current network structures and identify areas for enhancement to integrate resilience and diversity effectively. Key steps include conducting a thorough risk assessment, developing a plan that incorporates diverse technologies and providers, and regularly testing network resilience to ensure all systems function as expected when disruptions occur.

Resilience and diversity are foundational to strategic network planning. By understanding and deploying both, businesses can create networks that are not only robust and reliable but also prepared to handle the evolving challenges of the digital landscape.

The Perfect Point of Presence for Your Network

At NJFX, we exemplify the principles of resilience and diversity, making our facility an ideal point of presence (PoP) for your network. As the first carrier-neutral cable colocation and landing station in New Jersey, we have over 35 network carriers and 4 susbea cable systems that can provide unique connectivity network architectures that incorporate diverse routes and redundant systems ensuring unmatched reliability and connectivity. Partnering with NJFX grants you access a global platform that supports robust, secure, and resilient network operations.

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Key Insights from the ITW 2024 Fishbowl Panel on Influential Subsea Routes

Key Insights from the ITW 2024 Fishbowl Panel on Influential Subsea Routes

May 22, 2024

In a world increasingly driven by data and connectivity, the importance of robust digital infrastructure cannot be overstated. This year at International Telecoms Week (ITW) 2024 hosted by Capacity Media, industry leaders and innovators gathered for an insightful Fishbowl Panel to discuss which routes are most influential in expanding subsea connectivity — that’s 99% of all intercontinental internet traffic.

Andy Bax, Senior Partner, Digital Infrastructure – Cambridge Management Consulting (moderator)

Wilfried Dudink, Strategy & Development, Network Service Providers – Digital Realty

Gil Santaliz, CEO – NJFX

Kapil Kumar Jain, VP & Global Head Network – Tata Communications

Noah Drake, President & Managing Director – Telstra

Monica Martinez Quero, Chief Marketing Officer– Telxius

Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities in Subsea Connectivity

Andy kicked off the panel with a vibrant introduction of the participants, emphasizing the comprehensive expertise gathered. “We’ve all been in the business; we’ve been there, done that. We’ve run operations, we’ve built systems, we’ve developed networks,” Andy explained. He underscored the importance of smaller cable systems, posing to the panel, “What role do they play today? What role might they play in the future?”

Monica Martinez Quero, CMO at Telxius, took the lead, articulating the significance of smaller cable systems. “These systems connect less populated areas with less demand, serving as vital links for growing markets,” Monica said. She highlighted the San Juan project, extending from Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico and onto the United States, as a pivotal development in bridging high-capacity gaps in the Caribbean.

Monica further described the Junior cable, a 390-kilometer submarine system connecting Rio de Janeiro to Santos, which plays a critical role in routing traffic from Argentina to Virginia Beach in the U.S. “These cables are a part of the bigger topology map in the industry and play a big role due to their strategic positions and capabilities,” she added.

Acknowledging Monica’s insights, Andy reflected on the broader implications. “People often think about small systems as being regional, connecting small populations. But they are a different part of the ecosystem, integral to our global infrastructure.”

Gil Santaliz, CEO of NJFX, brought to light the strategic importance of the Confluence Cable System, a pivotal infrastructure project enhancing connectivity along the East Coast of the United States. “The Confluence Cable is providing an alternate path connecting five key landing stations—Boca, Jacksonville, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, and Wall, New Jersey,” Gil explained. He emphasized the system’s role in offering failover capabilities and addressing the aging infrastructure challenges traditionally handled by highways and railroads. “By avoiding the congested right-of-way issues, this system not only supports inter-country but also intra-country traffic, enhancing the technological landscape significantly,” he added.

Noah Drake, President & Managing Director at Telstra, then shifted the focus towards regional connectivity and its impact on underserved populations. “The regional systems play a critical role, especially in the South Pacific, where we bridge the digital divide through a mix of subsea, wireless, and satellite technologies,” Noah noted. Reflecting on Telstra’s acquisition of Digital South Pacific, he highlighted collaborative efforts with governments to make these projects viable, emphasizing the synergy between commercial interests and social responsibilities.

Kapil Kumar Jain, VP & Global Head Network at Tata Communications, expanded on the discussion by linking the functionality of small cable systems to broader network resilience. “On both the East and West Coasts of the U.S., these smaller systems provide crucial alternate connectivity,” Kapil pointed out. He detailed how, during simultaneous disruptions of major routes, smaller systems facilitate a mesh ecosystem that maintains network integrity. “These cables are integral to our industry’s future, potentially increasing to represent 30-40% of our ecosystem within the next five years as we aim to connect digitally divided regions,” he projected.

As the panel discussion revealed, small submarine cable systems are more than mere supplements to their larger counterparts; they are vital components that ensure robust, resilient, and inclusive global connectivity. This holistic approach not only addresses immediate logistical challenges but also paves the way for a more interconnected and equitable future.

Wilfried Dudink, Strategy & Development, Network Service Providers at Digital Realty, reflecting on the evolving landscape of connectivity hubs in the Mediterranean, emphasized the emergence of new key locations beyond the traditional hubs like Marseille. “Cities like Barcelona, Genoa, Rome, Crete, Athens, and Tel Aviv are becoming significant connectivity hubs, aided by both terrestrial and innovative subsea cable technologies,” he stated. This diversification is seen as a vital strategy for enhancing regional connectivity resilience.

Andy Bax then broadened the discussion to address the challenges facing the industry, including the shortages in cable ships and manufacturing capabilities. “We’re witnessing a surge in demand for both large-scale and small, regional interconnector cables that offer diversity,” Andy noted. He highlighted ongoing issues such as the shortage of cable ships and the slow pace of scaling up manufacturing post-COVID, which are compounded by the need for dual-purpose ships that can both install and repair cables.

Kapil contributed insights into the operational hurdles, “The balancing act between installing new cables and repairing existing ones creates a complex operational scenario. Moreover, there’s a push towards sustainability, demanding that end-to-end cable delivery aligns with eco-friendly practices.” He shed light on the aging fleet of cable ships, with many nearing the end of their service life, underscoring the need for investment in new, sustainable technologies for future developments.

The conversation then shifted towards the impact of geopolitics on the subsea cable industry, a topic further explored by Noah Drake and Gil Santaliz. Noah discussed the strategic delays and challenges posed by permitting processes and geopolitical tensions. “The industry is not just about managing physical resources but also navigating regulatory and political landscapes,” Noah explained.

Gil provided a deeper perspective on how geopolitical tensions are fostering innovation within the industry. “The demand for additional resilience has led to the development of Layer 1 SDN platforms, enabling dynamic switching between subsea cables, thus enhancing the monetization of these assets,” Gil detailed.

Wilfried added that geopolitical shifts are prompting the exploration of new routes, “The current geopolitical climate is pushing the industry to develop alternative routes, enhancing global connectivity diversity.” This includes potentially transformative routes from APAC directly to South Africa and across the Arctic.

Andy reflected on the broader implications of these challenges. “Addressing these issues isn’t just about overcoming technical obstacles but also involves enhancing cooperation between governments and private stakeholders to ensure the deployment of sustainable, resilient infrastructure.”

 

Adapting to the Evolving Demands of Subsea Cable Infrastructure

Kapil elaborated on the challenges faced by the industry due to recent cable damages and the complexities involved in repair processes. Highlighting the extended downtime, Kapil expressed concern over the industry’s responsiveness to unforeseen incidents, “It’s been two and a half months since the cable cuts, and without permits, we can’t even begin repairs. This situation forces us to rethink traditional routing and introduces substantial challenges but also opens opportunities for innovative solutions.”

The panel also discussed the broader implications of these delays, emphasizing the need for more robust infrastructure and faster response strategies to maintain global connectivity. Andy added perspective on the role of hyperscalers and traditional carriers in building redundancy into their networks. “Hyperscalers are pushing the boundaries, not just focusing on route diversity but also on path and system diversity, which is increasingly important as we aim to ensure resilience in our global networks,” Andy noted.

Wilfried touched upon the development of new connectivity hubs in the Mediterranean, expanding the geographic diversity and resilience of the network infrastructure. “The emergence of new hubs in locations like Barcelona and Tel Aviv represents a strategic evolution, offering alternative routes that enhance the overall robustness of our connectivity solutions,” Wilfried observed.

The conversation shifted to technological advancements that could mitigate some of these challenges. Kapil adding that the deployment of Layer 1 SDN might revolutionize how traffic is managed across these networks. “With SDN technology, we can automate the rerouting process, which currently relies heavily on manual intervention. This could significantly enhance our operational efficiency and reduce downtime during outages,” he proposed.

Andy directed the panel’s attention towards future developments in fiber technology and system capacity. “As we build larger cables with higher fiber counts, we need to consider the long-term implications of these developments on our networks and the global connectivity landscape. How do we manage the increased capacity, and what does it mean for the overall durability of our infrastructure?” Andy questioned.

The panelists discussed the potential for multicore fiber technologies to double the capacity of existing systems without adding more fiber pairs, a critical consideration as the industry seeks to expand capacity while managing the complexities of repair and maintenance.

The panelists delved deeper into the technical, operational, and geopolitical challenges facing the subsea cable industry, exploring strategies to navigate these complexities while fostering innovation and resilience in global connectivity.

The Future of Transatlantic and Global Subsea Networks

Kapil highlighted the ongoing and future challenges in the transatlantic routes, noting the proliferation of new, high-capacity cables. “As we look to the next three to four years, we may see multiple cables with 16 to 25 fiber pairs becoming available in the Transatlantic. However, integrating these cables to create a resilient network remains a puzzle, particularly in Europe,” Kapil reflected. He emphasized the need for innovative solutions to interconnect these diverse routes to ensure robust and redundant network architectures.

Andy responded to Kapil’s insights, focusing on the necessity for direct fiber restoration over mere capacity routing. “What Confluence is aiming to do on the East Coast of the U.S. needs to be mirrored along the entire coast of Europe to ensure seamless fiber restoration,” Andy added, underscoring the importance of comprehensive connectivity solutions that can adapt to unexpected disruptions.

Wilfried shared a specific example from Crete, where multiple cable landing stations are being connected to a central facility to facilitate switching between cables, enhancing network flexibility and resilience. “The project in Crete reflects a broader necessity for integrated infrastructure that can support the dynamic needs of the subsea community,” Wilfried noted.

The panel then opened the floor to questions from the audience, leading to a lively discussion about the investment challenges and educational gaps surrounding subsea cable systems. Andy tackled the overarching challenges facing the subsea community, particularly the need to elevate the industry’s profile to attract investment and governmental support.

Gil addressed the logistical and environmental challenges of deploying subsea cables, highlighting the delicate balance between development and local regulations. “The pushback from local communities and the high costs imposed by municipalities can significantly complicate development efforts,” Gil explained.

The session concluded with a consensus on the critical role of education and collaboration in overcoming the challenges faced by the subsea cable industry. The panelists underscored the importance of raising awareness about the strategic value of subsea cables and fostering partnerships to support sustainable and resilient infrastructure development.

Key Insights from the ITW 2024 Fishbowl Panel on Influential Subsea Routes Read More »

Beyond the Unexpected: How NJFX Secures Your Connectivity

Beyond the Unexpected: How NJFX Secures Your Connectivity

April 10, 2024

In the stillness of an early morning, the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore faced an unforeseen catastrophe—a cargo ship, having lost power, veered uncontrollably towards the bridge’s pillar. Amid emergency procedures, anchors were dropped in a futile attempt to halt the vessel’s momentum. The lights on the ship flickered, and as a dark plume of smoke ascended, the inevitable occurred. The collision resulted in a massive portion of the bridge succumbing to the water below in mere seconds, a vivid testament to the unpredictable forces at play.

This tragic incident underscores the indispensable need for resilient connectivity solutions in our increasingly interconnected world. Located at the strategic confluence of international subsea cables and terrestrial networks, NJFX’s carrier-neutral colocation CLS is designed to ensure that connectivity remains uninterrupted.

A notable aspect of NJFX’s robust offerings is the alternative route provided by United Fiber & Data (UFD), which bypasses the now-vulnerable Baltimore region, ensuring a secure and direct pathway to Ashburn, Virginia. This thoughtful infrastructure planning embodies NJFX’s deep commitment to upholding the continuity and reliability of secure infrastructure, emphasizing the critical nature of having resilient connectivity solutions in place.

The abrupt collapse of the Baltimore bridge serves as a poignant reminder of our physical infrastructure’s vulnerabilities and the cascading effects such failures can have on connectivity. In response, NJFX’s strategic foresight in crafting a resilient connectivity ecosystem emerges not just as a measure of preparedness but as a necessity. By facilitating secure, reliable network pathways that adeptly circumvent potential vulnerabilities, NJFX ensures that the networks we depend upon remain resilient, robust, and never down.

For a deeper understanding of NJFX’s pivotal role in enhancing global connectivity resilience, visit our Customer Benefits

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The Future of Latin America’s Subsea Cables: A Strategic Overview

The Future of Latin America's Subsea Cables: A Strategic Overview

March 18, 2024

The digital infrastructure of Latin America is on the brink of a major overhaul, with subsea cables playing a pivotal role in this transformation. A panel of industry experts, including CEOs, EVPs, and senior analysts, came together to discuss the future trajectory of these essential components of the global internet backbone. Here’s a closer look at the participants and the key takeaways from their discussion.

Participants:

Gil Santaliz, CEO at NJFX
Maurice Traverso, EVP at Sparkle
Alexander Salomon, RVP Brazil Sales at Infineria
Enrique Lozoya, Network Investments Manager – Americas at META
Carmine Sorrentino, VP Chief Commercial and Operating Officer at Liberty Networks
Peter Wood, Senior Research Analyst at TeleGeography

 Key Takeaways:

  1. There’s a consensus on the urgent need to replace subsea cables that were built in 2002 and earlier. The industry is moving towards adopting new cables with advanced technology to ensure seamless connectivity between Latin America and North America.
  1. Simply upgrading the equipment of existing cables is insufficient. The panelists pointed out that new cables with higher fiber counts and technological advancements offer far superior performance, which is necessary to meet the increasing demand for data and bandwidth.
  1. Over-The-Top (OTT) providers are at the forefront of developing new subsea systems. Their efforts are expanding the network’s reach beyond Brazil to Argentina, Chile, and potentially Peru, showcasing a significant shift in infrastructure development and investment.
  1. Highlighting specific initiatives, Liberty Media, in collaboration with Gold Data, is working on expanding the US-Mexico and Central America subsea network. Their focus on reducing latency is critical for real-time data applications, enhancing the region’s connectivity.
  1. The responsibility falls on both users and operators to ensure their network’s resilience. Having access to multiple cables and backhaul options is essential for maintaining network uptime, emphasizing the need for robust infrastructure.
  1. The panel discussed the unpredictable impact of AI on network infrastructure and the growth of hyperscale data centers in Latin America. These data centers, increasingly powered by renewable energy, are poised to drive further demand for subsea cable expansion.

The discussions by these industry leaders offer a roadmap for the future of Latin America’s digital infrastructure. As the region gears up for a major transition, the focus on technological advancements, strategic partnerships, and sustainability will be key to ensuring its connectivity with the global digital economy.

The Future of Latin America’s Subsea Cables: A Strategic Overview Read More »

NJFX Completes Acquisition of Critical Transatlantic Connectivity Assets from SubCom

NJFX Completes Acquisition of Critical Transatlantic Connectivity Assets from SubCom

February 27, 2024

Wall Township, NJ – Today, NJFX Utility Service LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of NJFX, announced the successful acquisition of key infrastructure assets from SubCom LLC, originally developed in 2001. This acquisition comprises bore pipes and conduits situated in Manasquan and Avon, NJ. This offers purpose built underground access to the NJFX Wall CLS Campus. These critical infrastructure assets required maintenance, which involves use of complicated and scarce marine expertise. 

Starting in September 2023, NJFX engaged with several marine contractors providing necessary maintenance to these assets, to prepare them for another 25 years, which is the useful life of a subsea cable. This included proofing bore pipes with divers that have underwater welding capabilities.  The number one priority is always life safety which makes this an expensive maintenance exercise in preserving US Critical Infrastructure.

Ryan Imkemeier, the CLS Manager at NJFX, highlighted the collaboration’s depth with HDD and MCC (Marine Contractors and Consultants) to ensure seamless operations, he stated, “We’ve worked closely with our contractor to ensure there are no hiccups. Delays can become costly, and it’s our priority to prepare thoroughly to avoid any potential issues.”

NJFX supports AquaComms who lands in one of the four acquired bore pipes with its Havfrue/AEC-2 cable, connecting the US to Denmark, Norway, and Ireland. Other significant customers of the NJFX Campus include Tata Communications who owns TGN 1 & 2 connecting to the United Kingdom and Seaborn Networks, which owns the Seabras-1 cable connecting Wall, NJ to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Gil Santaliz, the CEO of NJFX, further emphasized the investment’s significance, “We have invested close to $2 million to ensure these critical assets are ready for the next 30 years of use. This not only demonstrates our commitment to maintaining robust infrastructure, but also to securing New Jersey’s position in the future of transatlantic connectivity.”

Currently there are over 574 active and planned submarine cables reported by TeleGeography in January of 2024.  This includes fourteen transatlantic subsea cables on the east coast of the United States with seven of these cables being considered modern (these include ACE-1, Havfrue/AEC-2, Grace Hopper, Amitie, Marea, Dunant, and EXA Express) with at least 15 years of useful life supporting voice, data, and cloud connectivity. There are 870,000 miles of subsea routes globally with projects like 2Africa, Bifrost and Echo being deployed in the next coming years. These subsea systems solve for topics ranging from geopolitical concerns to economic development for countries who need to be connected and participate in the digital economy.

This acquisition of these assets strengthens NJFX’s role in global communications by restoring transatlantic connectivity infrastructure.

About NJFX:

Located in Wall, NJ, NJFX is the innovative leader in carrier-neutral colocation and subsea infrastructure, setting a new standard for interconnecting carrier-grade networks outside any major U.S. city. Our campus hosts over 35 global and U.S. operators, including multinational banks that rely on us for their “never down” network strategies. The NJFX campus is also where the major cloud operators have their global backbones physically connecting to transatlantic cables to Europe and South America. NJFX customers requiring transparency and true diversity can interconnect at a layer one level with their preferred network connectivity partners.

Media Inquiries, please contact:

Emily Newman | PR & Marketing Manager | emily@njfx.net

NJFX Completes Acquisition of Critical Transatlantic Connectivity Assets from SubCom Read More »

NJFX Hosts Critical Infrastructure Forum

NJFX Hosts Critical Infrastructure Forum

This event marked a revolutionary stride towards redefining cloud, IP, and global connectivity

February 14, 2024

On February 9th, NJFX’s Tier 3 carrier-neutral and subsea colocation facility hosted a Critical Infrastructure Forum supporting various applications for multinational banks. This event marked a revolutionary stride towards redefining cloud, IP, and global connectivity with 30+ executives presenting from Fortune 100 and 500 companies within NJFX’s advanced facility.

The forum facilitated sessions on enhancing network infrastructure and enabling private backbone access to the major cloud operators. Additional topics included insights from the world’s largest Internet exchange provider and a leading network operator providing last mile access throughout LATAM.

Key participants and highlights included:

  • Head of Solutions Architecture of Banking and Payments from AWS.
  • COO’s from Orchest, Colt, and Crown Castle, emphasizing the importance of scalable and resilient network infrastructure.
  • Executives from DE-CIX, sharing strategies on internet exchange capabilities and global business development.
  • Representatives from Altice, Verizon, EXA, and AT&T, discussing advancements in mobile networks and enterprise fiber solutions.

This forum underscored NJFX’s role in facilitating a future-proof, expansive internet infrastructure, highlighting the collective effort towards a more connected and efficient global network.

About NJFX

NJFX is setting a new standard for interconnecting carrier-grade networks outside any major U.S. city. Our campus hosts over 35 global and U.S. operators, including multinational banks that rely on us for their “never down” network strategies. The NJFX campus is also where the major cloud operators have their global backbones physically connecting to transatlantic cables to Europe and South America. NJFX customers requiring transparency and true diversity can interconnect at a layer one level with their preferred network connectivity partners.

NJFX Hosts Critical Infrastructure Forum Read More »

John Hayduk Interviews with Emily Newman at njfx on the transformative digital landscape of telecommunications

Luminaries in Telecom – Redefining the New Generation of Global Network Connectivity – John Hayduk

Luminaries in Telecom | John Hayduk

Redefining the New Generation of Global Network Connectivity

Written + Edited by:

Kevin Ayerdis + Emily Newman

February 5, 2024

John Hayduk Interviews with Emily Newman at njfx on the transformative digital landscape of telecommunications

Welcome back to Luminaries Of Telecom!

In the ever-evolving landscape of telecommunications, a realm continually reshaped by breakneck technological advancements, stands a luminary who has not just witnessed but actively sculpted our hyper-connected world. John Hayduk is a visionary in the realm of global network connectivity and has built a remarkable career path paralleling the industry’s transformation. Hayduk’s journey reflects a shift from the simpler, quieter days of analog to the dynamic, intricate webs of the modern digital era.

Pioneering the Digital Communication Revolution

John Hayduk’s distinguished career in telecommunications took root in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Penn State in 1990, he embarked on his professional journey in New Jersey at the infamous Bellcore that eventually morphed into Telcordia. This transformation marked a significant phase in his career. With his master’s degree in computer science and specializing in software development, Hayduk took on a critical role at Telcordia.

Hayduk explains, “At Telcordia, after dedicating four to five years to software development, I was presented with a pivotal career decision: to continue the technical track or to transition into management. Choosing the latter, I embarked on the managerial track. This shift involved overseeing software development teams, with each role bringing larger teams under my guidance and expanding responsibilities.”

Following several years of successfully managing various development teams, Hayduk was offered a new role managing a P&L focusing on a suite of applications dedicated to Wireless Network Management at Telcordia.

Reflecting on this period, Hayduk notes, “By 2000, cell phones had become a common accessory for most people. The period from 1996 to 2000 was crucial in the wireless business. At Telcordia, we were developing and providing software solutions for major wireless providers to efficiently operate their networks. This era marked a time of rapid expansion in wireless networks, aligning with the widespread adoption of mobile phones. Notably, the end of ‘03 saw revenues reaching $100 million, and by 2004-2005, we witnessed a surge to approximately $140-150 million.”

Architecting Global Connectivity

After a decade of shaping the telecom landscape at Telcordia, Hayduk was poised for a new challenge. In 2005, he made a strategic move to Tata Communications marking a pivotal point in both his career and the company’s trajectory. This era signified the dawn of Tata’s expansion into international services. With Hayduk’s extensive background in software and a proven track record of seamlessly blending technical expertise with strategic insight, Hayduk assumed the role of Chief Technology Officer.

Upon joining Tata Communications, Hayduk found himself at the heart of the company’s pivotal growth phase. He played a significant role during key milestones, notably the acquisition of Tyco Global Network (TGN). This strategic move endowed Tata with substantial subsea capabilities, extending from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and significantly enhancing their network with various Points of Presence (PoPs). Just 8-9 months following this, Tata further expanded its reach by acquiring Teleglobe, adding an additional 45-50 international PoPs to Tata’s network, and a significant global IP backbone.

Hayduk reflected on the evolving challenges in the industry, stating, “The landscape of technology was undergoing a drastic transformation. Around 2002-2003, we saw a shift with internet usage, voice calls transitioning to video collaboration, and the start of cloud based computing and storage options. This change had a profound impact, not just in terms of the nature of communication, but also in the bandwidth requirements. The rising demand for network capacity, coupled with the trend of cloud computing and the shift towards cloud-based processing, posed unique challenges to our network’s ability to meet those needs.”

He continues, “We could no longer afford delays in reconfiguring or upgrading our infrastructure to meet these demands. My background in software, particularly in supply chain management with our capacity vendors, became crucial. It enabled us to rapidly scale up our services, ensuring that when a major customer placed an order, we could meet their needs with exceptional speed.”

During his tenure at Tata Communications, Hayduk played a pivotal role in orchestrating complex initiatives and deploying a new subsea cable in the South China Sea. His responsibilities extended beyond technology, involving intricate supply chain management and international vendor relations, highlighting his adeptness in navigating the complexities of global telecommunications expansion.

South China Sea and Beyond

Based in New Jersey, Hayduk’s leadership involved not just strategy but also the intricate management of remote supply chains, underlining the challenges within international operations.

Hayduk detailed the meticulous planning required, “Understanding every step of the planning and deployment phase is crucial. When building our Intra-Asia Cable, securing permits in the South China Sea was more challenging than anticipated, forcing us to reassess our construction strategy. The dilemma was whether to adjust our build direction or halt operations due to permit complications in contested waters.”

Elaborating further, Hayduk added, “Navigating governmental approvals was complex. Although technically in international waters, China’s territorial claims over the South China Sea meant we couldn’t assume unimpeded passage. We adopted a cautious approach, ensuring we obtained permits even in areas regarded as international waters.” 

The task of deploying this subsea cable was also done during the politically sensitive period of the Beijing Olympics which added layers of complexity, and impacting construction time. Finally, the long-awaited permit approval arrived, bringing a sense of relief and accomplishment that finally allowed the construction of the cable to complete.

For other cable builds, like from the west coast of India to Europe, “We designed subsea systems to land prior to existing congested cable systems in and around the Suez Canal, and then run terrestrially through Egypt out to the Mediterranean. This approach offered a diverse alternative – a contingency in case of disruptions. Our goal was to provide a unique option from a market standpoint.”, explains Hayduk.

This example required negotiating with entities like Telecom Egypt for terrestrial builds, which required balancing practical business needs with inventive solutions. Projects around the Suez Canal demanded collaboration with local stakeholders, illustrating the intricate, often delicate geopolitical nature inherent in global telecom projects.

Hayduk explains, “This strategic decision not only highlighted the need for innovative routing solutions but also underscored the importance of robust partnerships.”

Hayduk’s insights into the pivotal Egypt project highlight the collaborative essence and strategic reliance on local partnerships that have been instrumental in Tata Communications’ growth. He notes, “For the terrestrial build, we needed to work closely with Telecom Egypt, relying on them for the cable landing station construction. This partnership underscored our dependence on local expertise and the crucial role of subcontractors in the subsea cable build process.”

By 2014, this evolution had propelled Tata Communications to a unique position as the only company with a fully-owned subsea fiber network that encircles the globe. This vast network, serving as the backbone of global connectivity, extends its reach to over 200 countries and territories. A testament to its impact, about 30% of the world’s Internet routes flow through Tata’s network.

Hayduk explains, “In this instance, we developed a consolidated subsea platform that offered significant scalability – specifically, the ability to exponentially increase bandwidth in multiples of 100Gbps units to 1Tbps and beyond, advancing towards spectrum-type fiber pair deals.”

Networks and the Future

Hayduk foresees the crucial role of advancing fiber optics and software augmentation in meeting the growing demands of technology. He emphasizes that the strategic expansion of fiber optics is key not just for increased capacity, but also for ensuring the reliability and low latency essential to support various applications. This is particularly important for applications requiring stringent response times, such as high-frequency trading and business collaboration tools, which after the pandemic, have become a critical utility.

“Immersive video, the metaverse, and augmented realities are poised to surge, demanding bandwidth to reach unprecedented heights. In this landscape, wireless technologies find their niche in providing access. However, the inherent limitations of spectrum availability underscore the perpetual need for extensive fiber optic infrastructure. As the digital realm expands with innovations like the metaverse, the hunger for increased bandwidth intensifies, necessitating further investments in fiber optics. The advent of 3D virtual experiences and the metaverse introduces a paradigm shift, demanding exponential increases in bandwidth,” Hayduk explains.

The telecom industry is on the brink of a transformation, and according to Hayduk, the future will see an unyielding demand for networks. While wireless technologies are essential, especially for access, the heart of capacity-intensive applications lies in fiber and wired solutions.

Legacy in the Telecom Space

Hayduk’s journey stands as a striking testament to his adaptability, foresight, and unwavering commitment to progress. His career, marked by significant contributions and visionary leadership, sheds light on the industry’s transformative evolution, offering valuable lessons for both seasoned leaders and aspiring newcomers navigating the rapidly changing landscape of telecommunications.

As the industry continues to evolve at a breakneck pace, Hayduk’s legacy resonates powerfully. His ability to steer the field into new frontiers, where technological innovation intersects with practical business acumen, remains exemplary.

Hayduk emphasizes, “Staying open-minded, being ready to learn, and embracing change are crucial. Adaptability and quick strategizing in the face of unforeseen challenges are key to not only good leadership but also being a great teammate. Together, we can figure anything out.”

Looking ahead, Hayduk turns our attention to emerging domains like the metaverse and the reshaping of operational landscapes by artificial intelligence. “The dynamic and challenging waters of telecommunications await the next generation of visionaries to navigate new paths and discover innovative solutions, propelling the industry into uncharted territories,” he reflects.

In the symphony of connectivity, where tomorrow’s digital possibilities resonate, John Hayduk’s influence and insights continue to serve as a guiding compass, inspiring excellence in the relentless quest to advance the world of telecommunications.

_____________

A sincere thank you to our latest Luminary, John Hayduk, for sharing his wisdom and adding his unique story that has shaped telecom today. We’ve only scratched the surface of his triumphant journey, and there’s undoubtedly more to explore. Readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and reflections on John’s story in the comments. For suggestions on other telecom leaders to spotlight, reach out to Emily@njfx.net

 

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The Future of Latin America’s Subsea Cables: A Strategic Overview

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The Geopolitical Importance of Subsea Cables

The Geopolitical Importance of Subsea Cables

When people think about global communications, they might think of satellites, miles above the Earth. But in fact the vast majority of the world’s telecommunications goes through hundreds of garden hose-sized fibre optic cables that run along the ocean floor. While most nations rely on these submarine cables for communications, they can fall foul of geopolitics and international tensions.  And things can get very difficult when they are damaged, cut or tampered with. 

January 08, 2023

Geopolitical Importance

Many countries rely heavily on submarine cables to help to keep their economy going and their security in check. 

“[The cables] carry 99 per cent of all transcontinental internet traffic. So that includes your video calls, your stock market transactions, conference calls, military operations — everything,” Joe Brock, a Singapore-based Reuters correspondent, tells ABC RN’s Late Night Live.

Though they cost hundreds of millions of dollars to build, they offer greater speed than satellite internet, which only accounts for a very small fraction of all internet traffic. 

“It’s much slower to transmit data through satellites, and there’s far less bandwidth.

These underwater cables have always been of interest to governments, says research analyst Lane Burdette.

“It’s because of how much governments rely on them from a communication standpoint.”

Burdette works with TeleGeography, a Washington-based company that collects and analyses communication data.

“Sub cables have always been important for geopolitics,” she says.

“However, I think the geopolitical situation of the last decade, especially in regard to potential seabed warfare, [has] ramped up.

“And so people are paying more attention to sub cables.” 

Lately, they’ve been the source of increased tension between the US and China, who have been in dispute over submarine cable deals.

For context, while there are some government-owned cables across the globe, the majority of cables are privately owned and operated by telecommunications companies.

Chinese company HMN Tech was set to build a submarine cable running from Singapore to France, but lost its contract after the US put in a higher bid of US$600 million ($944 million), Brock explains.

He says the US wanted to have more control over the security of their communications, hence their push to outbid the Chinese company.

“The US government intervened behind the scenes to persuade, with cash sweeteners, telecoms companies to change their mind and flip it and then choose an American supplier called SubCom, which is a main US cable supplier, and they do work for the US government,” he explains.

“The US would much rather cables were built by US companies … so it’s sort of this behind-the-scenes jostling and, in this case, Washington won the day.”

Spying and Cutting Ties

There are constant fears of espionage and sensitive data being extracted from submarine cables.

For example, Brock says US intelligence services “claim that the Chinese and others can fit back doors onto cables, which would reroute data … Your private data could then be hoovered up by intelligence services”.

The most likely way to hack data from a submarine cable is from the landing station, he says.

These land-based stations are where the cable connects with terrestrial networks.

They’ve been hacked before. Brock points to the case where Edward Snowden exposed that the US’s National Security Agency had tapped into submarine cables and was extracting data from US citizens, more than a decade ago.

What happens if cables get cut?

These fears are warranted. History has shown that cables have been cut before. 

And once a country’s communications has been cut off, they become more vulnerable.

For instance, during World War I, the British cut all of Germany’s undersea cables, except one.

“That’s how they were able to get the Zimmermann telegram, which, of course, was a rather important component of the war,” Burdette says.

In January 1917, the Zimmermann telegram was issued by the German Foreign Office proposing an alliance with Mexico if the US entered World War I.

British Intelligence got hold of this information and informed the Americans, which led the US to declare war on Germany.

“So these cables have been intentionally damaged in warfare before. They’re a really important way for states to be able to connect across the globe. And they’re an interesting target in the case of a hot conflict,” Burdette says.

However most of the damage to submarine cables isn’t intentional.

“I would say the biggest threat to sub cables out there, at least on a routine basis, is accidental interaction with people. So [for example] fishermen and trawlers — that comprises the majority of breaks,” she explains.

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, also contribute to cables’ damage.

For example, Tonga was left largely offline for more than a month after a volcanic eruption in 2022 damaged its cable.

Taiwan also lost its internet during February 2023, and claimed that Chinese ships were responsible, Brock says.

“They didn’t say whether it was an intentional act. And the Chinese have not responded to explain whether they were involved … so there’s a bit of mystery that’s shrouded around that. 

“Taiwan is a big concern because there’s so much geopolitical tension over [that region]. They have several cables, they are all running through areas of water, which are highly contested,” Brock says.

“But I think it’s given warning to everyone … It shows what could be done if someone wants to do something deliberately.”

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Navigating Disasters and Safeguarding Connectivity in 2024

Navigating Disasters and Safeguarding Connectivity in 2024

Disaster Recovery: two words that carry immense consequences. Whether you’re part of a close-knit team of 20 or steering a massive enterprise of 20,000, having a detailed Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is not just a necessity; it’s a fundamental requirement. Doubting the importance of a DRP in your organization? Let’s explore the profound significance it holds, and why it’s indispensable for any business, regardless of size.

January 05, 2023

The Cost of Unplanned Outages

Disaster recovery and preparedness are not just routine considerations; they’re at the forefront of operational strategy here at NJFX. This shift is driven by the increasing prevalence of natural disasters, technological mishaps, and unforeseen incidents. In today’s world, the average cost of unplanned outages for companies now surpasses $16,000 per minute. Such a staggering figure not only emphasizes the financial burden but also highlights the heightened risks of exposing sensitive data and incurring substantial revenue losses. This reality underscores the imperative for businesses to adopt and refine robust disaster recovery plans, ensuring resilience in the face of these challenges.

Identifying and Addressing Network Vulnerabilities

Understanding the various factors that contribute to network vulnerabilities is crucial. These factors can range from increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, the risk of planned attacks on infrastructure, evolving cybersecurity threats, and the complexities of maintaining service during unforeseen disruptions. Addressing these challenges is essential for ensuring robust and resilient network operations.

Addressing these critical points of failure, NJFX presents a compelling solution with its state-of-the-art 64,000-square-foot facility. Equipped with direct fiber network connections and backup generators supported by Uninterruptible Power Service (UPS), NJFX sets a new standard in carrier-grade network interconnections, strategically located outside any major U.S. city. Today, our facility hosts 35 global and U.S.-based operators and serves as a critical node for multinational banks implementing a ‘never down’ strategy. The NJFX campus also connects major network and cloud operators to global backbones, linking transatlantic cables to Europe and South America. For enterprises seeking true network diversity, our facility offers layer one interconnectivity with a variety of network connectivity partners. This not only meets but exceeds the disaster recovery requirements of metropolitan providers, offering enhanced redundancy and ensuring seamless operational continuity.

Beyond the Ordinary: NJFX’s Unique Advantage

What truly distinguishes NJFX is our unwavering commitment to comprehensive disaster recovery planning. Our unique combination of secure, direct access to numerous networks at our cable landing station campus sets us apart in the industry. This, coupled with our strategic location in Wall, NJ, far from the congested areas of New York City and Northern New Jersey, ensures enhanced operational reliability, particularly in times of crisis.

In a world where operational continuity is paramount, choosing NJFX means opting for a partner that prioritizes your business’s resilience in the face of adversity. Reach out to us today to explore how we can safeguard your critical operations, ensuring your business remains unyielding, even in the most challenging times. With NJFX, be assured that when it comes to disaster readiness, you have a reliable and strategic ally by your side.

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Industry Leaders Deliberating Transformative Insights on Subsea Transformation

Industry Leaders Deliberating Transformative Insights on Subsea Transformation

November 9, 2023

Emerging from the enlightening whirlwind of the Capacity Europe conference in London, industry titans from the subsea communications realm have begun diving into critical dialogues that are shaping the future. The conference brought together an elite ensemble of cable operators, carriers, and network architects, each poised to chart the path of our industry’s future, assess the fast-evolving dynamics of the subsea sector, and strategize on the road ahead.

Our very own visionary, Gil Santaliz, NJFX’s Founder and CEO, joined an esteemed panel to dissect the implications of significant technological advancements. They addressed how the imminent retirement of aging cables, cost reductions by OTT’s, and the miniaturization of equipment — which is now faster and boasts greater capacity — are catalyzing industry transformation.

Panel Discussion: How are New Subsea Technologies and Supply Chain Disruptions Forcing Business Models to Evolve?

Panelists:

Gil Santaliz – CEO, NJFX
Gavin Rea – CTO, GBI
Wilfried Dudink – Senior Director, Strategy & Development, Digital Realty Thomas Soerensen – Director, Ciena
Isabelle Paradis – President & Founder, Hot Telecom (Moderator)


One of the many notable shifts highlighted during the discussions was the rapid expansion of subsea projects. What once was a modest requirement for data transfer has exploded into an era where bandwidth is devoured at unprecedented rates. It’s clear that the recent surge in cable construction is not merely timely but crucial.

These up-and-coming projects align perfectly with the lifespan of the latest cable systems. We’re moving from systems with 2 & 4 fiber pairs to those boasting 8 to 24, rendering the operational expenses of older systems untenable. The availability of warranties and parts makes these aging systems unappealing, especially when contrasted with the costs associated with backhaul and network design for what could be a handful of years.

Santaliz articulates this pivotal moment with clarity: “We’re at the cusp of a subsea deployment boom, reminiscent of the early 2000s, poised to form the backbone of global connectivity for the next two decades. This surge is in tandem with an unparalleled increase in data traffic crossing continents. The new generation of subsea cables introduces an economic shift, heavily influenced by OTT providers, prompting a subset of carriers to adapt to a secondary marketplace. At NJFX, our unique Tier-3 colocation model is strategically designed to meet the demanding requirements of subsea cable operators. We’re ready to deliver enhanced capacity, superior reliability, robust security, and flexible interconnection options that seamlessly connect North America, South America, and Europe.”

Digital Realty’s Senior Director, Wilfried Dudink, echoed the sentiment, noting the significant transition toward more efficient systems. “OTTs are driving down the essential operations and maintenance funding for cable stations, which now find themselves operating at a capacity 80% larger than necessary. This is due to the fact optical equipment has become exponentially more efficient over the past two decades,” he commented.

Building on this theme, Santaliz offered a robust expansion of his earlier thoughts. “The influence of OTT powerhouses is becoming increasingly central to the financing of subsea cable projects,” he stated. “Companies like Meta and Google are not just consumers of capacity; they are becoming indispensable partners for cable operators.” Santaliz’s statement underlines a pivotal shift in the industry, suggesting that collaboration with these tech giants is crucial for the sustained growth and evolution of global subsea infrastructure.

Gavin Rea, CTO at GBI, contributed to this topic by shedding light on the evolving architecture of these systems. He highlighted that the once substantial cable landing stations are now giving way too much more streamlined operations. The advancement in technology means subsea cables may only require simple beach huts, with fiber pairs extending to multiple huts or Cable Landing Stations connected merely by splicing in beach manholes. This marks a significant reduction in complexity and potentially, in operational costs, signaling a leaner future for the physical touchpoints of our global internet infrastructure.

Isabelle Paradis turned the discussion to Thomas Sorensen, Director at Ciena, who verified a remarkable development in the subsea capacity sector. He confirmed that what once required 50 racks of optical gear to manage 5 terabytes of subsea capacity can now be accommodated by a single rack. This significant reduction in physical infrastructure is thanks to the innovative strides made by companies like Ciena in the development of Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE).

Ciena has been at the forefront, pushing the boundaries of subsea technology with equipment that is not only faster and smaller but also more cost-effective. The introduction of advanced branching units is a game-changer, allowing for increased flexibility with the possibility of multiple landings across continents. This, combined with real-time network optimization and grooming capabilities, underscores a seismic shift towards more efficient and dynamic subsea networking solutions.

Such innovations are not just reshaping the physical landscape of networking equipment but are also redefining the possibilities for global communication networks, ensuring they are more scalable, adaptable, and capable of meeting the ever-growing demands of our connected world.

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