The last couple of weeks have been fairly taxing, with system training for BSCC, BSCC’s suppliers and BSCC’s customers. The training was conducted at Ngeremlengui, where students could readily move from the classroom to the Cable Landing Station itself, and see the actual equipment.
BSCC’s new Operations Support Officer, Nancy Rengiil, handled the operation of the various control, calibration and testing operations. A big welcome to Nance! As we move into operational phase, BSCC will keep the network running 24/7 and we aim for 100% availability. Nancy is in charge of that.
After two days we had learned some basics.
The SEA-US cable has its own power system, which includes the Branching Unit (BU) where BSCCnet joins and the Palau traffic goes on to Guam. The Palau spur has two repeaters, essentially optical amplifiers, which are not powered by the SEA-US power system. BSCCnet has its own single-end feed power system to power the two repeaters. This Power Feed Equipment (PFE) is completely duplicated to enable rapid response to PFE issues that might interrupt service. It is dangerous unless correct procedures are followed.
The magic happens in two stages. First we have Transponder Tributaries. Currently BSCCnet is equipped with ten Tributaries at 10 Gigabits per second each, that is a total of 100 Gbits / sec in a Transponder unit. We can add a further four Transponder units to provide a total capacity of 500 Gbits / sec. Essentially, the Transponder’s function is to adapt the various customer input data streams for the Wave Division Multiplexing (WDM) on BSCCnet. Forward Error Correction (FEC) and control channels are added.
Then the wavelengths go to the Wavelength Multiplexing Equipment (WME) which combines multiple outgoing wavelengths on a single fibre. The same equipment demultiplexes incoming signals.
Together, the Transponders and the WME constitute Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE). Once again, correct procedures must be followed. The WME also acts as an optical amplifier, and the fibres must be handled correctly.
After two days, we trainees don’t look as fresh as we did at the start!
From left, Melnuis Mesubed from Palau Wi-Fi, Shinichi Yokote from DPAC in Guam, me, Nancy, Richard, Luis Tanaka, our trainer from NEC, Blailes Telechalb from PNCC and Rudolph Calapardo and Channel Sullano from Palau Telecoms.
Cynics will note the location of our training venue. I can assure you, there was very little fishing. The mutual understanding of this fantastic NEC equipment is very important. We are partners (in BSCC’s case a very junior one) in a global network, and we are partners in ensuring that the high speed and quality on BSCCnet is translated into top-notch services for Palauans and for visitors to Palau.
Once the first two days had covered the main equipment functions, maintenance procedures and network management equipment, we circled around in more and more depth. This approach was very effective, with Luis combining the gift of teaching with the knowledge of a systems engineer of considerable experience. Thanks Luis!
As early as next week we start training on the Ciena service routers that will be the BSCCnet customer interfaces at CAP-G (Guam) and CAP-N (Ngeremlengui). This gear will be installed by the end of October.
And, I am pleased to report, BSCCnet has been running at 100% availability this past month.
In the first week of November we expect to make the network available for customer testing.