The submarine cable that provides the main international data connection between Australia and Japan is set to double its capacity this year.
The imaginatively named Australia-Japan Cable (AJC), which is co-owned by a global consortium including Telstra, will increase lit capacity from the current 320Gbps, adding another 320Gbps on the Australia-Guam link, and another 240Mbps on the next hop to Japan.
This has been done with new hardware boosting its capacity from 10Gbps wavelengths per fibre pair to 40 Gbps per fibre pair. The cable was launched in 2001, with an anticipated maximum capacity of 640Gbps. However, AJC anticipates that the cable capacity will be increased to 1,000Gbps at some point after 2013. (It's amazing what can be done, once fibre is laid.)
The aim of this upgrade is to service a near-exponential growth in data demand in the Australian market. Large jumps in available data have typically flowed onto Australian customers in the form of increased quotas on current plans, rather than reduction in costs. Internode (and therefore iiNet?) also leases capacity on the AJC.