Bell Colorado has signed an agreement with the Ministry of
Telecommunications in the USSR to build a $500 million dollar trans
Siberian fiber optic line. The line will be 13,000km long and will
support 565Mb between Japan and the USSR. The line is expected to
become operational in 1994. A special company has been set up called
Soviet Line Development Company. The problem is that most of the
equipment is Cocom proscribed which Bell Colorado is trying to work
around. Denmark, Britian, Italy, West Germany, Japan, Australia and
the USA have all backed this project.
There are expected to be three "branches" off of the Trans-Siberian cable:
1) To Copenhagen via the Baltic Sea
2) To Czechoslovakia and central Europe
3) To Italy via the Black Sea
The 565Mb is the first stage with stage two increasing the capacity to
2.5Gb and stage 3 to 10Gb. ITU documents indicate that this will be
the longest fiber optic cable in the world.
Most of the cable will be laid along the Trans-Siberian rail.
West Germany has also informed the ITU that it too is building a fiber
link to Moscow - Frankfort-Berlin-Warsaw-Moscow. There is a
possibility that it will connest to TSL with a spur off to Prague.
The German cable will cost $60 million and is called Centrale Strecke.
All this is to be a great leap forward for Russia. Today, the only
fiber link they have is between Leningrad and Minsk running in
single-mode at 140Mb (most telecommunications fiber today is multimode
and is 1.7Gb). That link is only 100km long.