Delayed Undersea Broadband Cable Enters Testing Phase

A long-awaited $100 million undersea broadband cable connecting Cambodia, Malaysia and Thailand officially started testing on Wednesday, moving closer to operation following numerous construction delays.

The cable’s three operators—Cambodia’s Ezecom, Thailand’s Symphony Communication and Malaysia’s Telekom Malaysia—will now begin testing the internet cable in hopes that it can be operational by the middle of next month, said Paul Blanche-Horgan, CEO of internet provider Ezecom, a subsidiary of conglomerate Royal Group.

The cable should help meet the growing demand for internet capacity among mobile users in rural and remote areas as well as on 4G networks, said Moa Chakrya, chairman of the state-run Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia.

Mr. Chakrya estimated the cable would reduce the lag in internet connections from roughly 40 to 50 milliseconds currently to about 14 to 15 milliseconds once the cable is fully operating.

The cable will also allow for more secure internet connections by allowing Cambodia to more directly connect to the wider internet, Mr. Blanche-Horgan said. Cambodia currently relies on the connections of neighboring countries.

The improvements mean “a much more secure connection for Cambodia,” he said.

The deal was signed in 2015, and construction on the undersea cable finished late last year after being originally announced in 2013 to launch by the end of 2014. Delays were attributed to the complexity of three countries working together on the project.

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