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Verizon makes China connection
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Verizon Communications Inc, the second-biggest United States phone company, has won permission to operate an underwater cable system that will connect America and Chinese mainland.


The 17,000-kilometer cable will give US businesses faster voice, Internet and data connections to Asia, Verizon said on Friday in a statement.


The system can carry the equivalent of 62 million simultaneous phone calls, 60 times more than an existing underwater cable linking the US and Chinese mainland, Bloomberg News reported.


Verizon and Asian companies are building the cable because they expect communications between the regions to surge over the next decade, IDC analyst Mark Winther said in an interview.


Verizon and its partners, which include Beijing-based China Telecom Corp and Chunghwa Telecom Co in Taipei, are spending US$500 million on the project, which received approval from the Federal Communications Commission on Friday.


Construction on the system is under way and should be completed before this year's Olympics in Beijing, according to Verizon.


The Trans-Pacific Express fiber-optic cable will connect to the US through Oregon. Verizon also owns stakes in 18 cables that already connect America to the Asia-Pacific region.


The FCC gave its approval on the condition that Verizon meet national-security requirements negotiated with the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Defense. The safeguards aim to prevent foreign governments from gaining unauthorized access to classified US data.


(Shanghai Daily January 14, 2008)

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