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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. IN 97-2436 December 2, 1997


The International Bureau today released the 1996 year-end circuit status report.

This report covers U.S. international facility-based carriers' activated circuits at year-end. The circuit status report covers all international facilities (undersea cable, satellite, and terrestrial link) and identifies the activated circuits for each international point as of December 31, 1996. The report compares 1995 and 1996 data and provides the growth rate of each series for all international points by transmission facilities for year 1996.

The number of activated 64 Kbps equivalent circuits at year-end 1996 was 246,551, a 50% increase from the previous year. By service type, International Message Telephone Services (IMTS) accounted for 59% of the total circuits used; International Private Line Services accounted for 39%; and the remaining 2% of total circuits were used for Video and Other Miscellaneous Services. The 1996 data notes a significant shift from voice to private line leased services among carriers' active capacity.

By transmission type, the undersea cables account for 45% of total used circuits in 1996. Terrestrial links account for 43%. Satellites account for 12% of the total used capacity in 1996. The top 30 countries account for 88% of the total activated circuits at year-end 1996. The percentage of idle circuits as the overall total circuit capacity reported in 1996 has decreased from 38% in 1995 to 24% in 1996.

An additional table on total available trans-oceanic fiber optic cable capacity over time is provided for further reference.

The report is available for reference in the International Bureau Reference Room, Room 102, 2000 M Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Copies also may be obtained from the Commission's contractor for public service records duplication: ITS, Inc., 1231 20th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 857-3800. The report can be downloaded from the International Bureau home page (http://www.fcc.gov/ib/td) on the World Wide Web. Inquires and submissions should be directed to Cathy Hsu, Telecommunications Division, International Bureau, at (202) 418-2114.

-- FCC --



1996 Section 43.82 Circuit Status Data

December 1997

Cathy Hsu

Telecommunications Division

1996 Section 43.82 Circuit StatusData


This report contains information of U.S. international facility-based carriers' activated circuits at year-end 1996. This report compiles data from 1995 and 1996 reports submitted to the Federal Communications Commission by U.S. carriers pursuant to Section 43.82 of the Commission's rules. Section 43.82 directs facilities-based carriers to file an international circuit status report by March 31, for circuits used to provide international services as of December 31 of the preceding year. The detailed filing requirements are set forth in the Manual for Filing Section 43.82 Circuit Status Data and can be found on the International Bureau's Web site at "http://www.fcc.gov/ib/td/pf/csmanual/html".

The information is compiled in an aggregated form that will be useful to current industry members, potential new entrants, and the Commission. In addition, this annual circuit status report will serve as a database for determining and monitoring the payments that the Commission is required to collect (i.e., annual regulatory fees on active equivalent 64 Kbps international circuits).

Reporting Requirements

All facility-based international carriers are required to file circuit status information, both activated and idle capacity. All services are reported in 64 kbps equivalent circuits to meet the Commission's minimum accountable unit for fee collection requirement.

In the Commission's manual on filing circuit status reports, we consider international facility-based circuits as "international circuits in which a carrier has an ownership interest which includes outright ownership, indefeasible right of use (IRU) interests, or leasehold interest in bare capacity in an international facility, regardless of whether the underlying facility is a common or non-common carrier submarine cable or an INTELSAT or other satellite system." This definition is consistent with the Commission's Order on Market Entry and Regulation of Foreign-affiliated Entities, 11 FCC Rcd 3873 (1995), recon. pending.

The report includes circuits from U.S. domestic points to foreign points and also circuits from U.S. points to offshore U.S. points. U.S. domestic points are the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Foreign points include ships operating in international waters as well as foreign countries. Offshore U.S. points include U.S. possessions such as American Samoa, Guam, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, Navassa Island, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Wake Island.

United States and foreign points are identified in the Common Carrier Bureau Industry Analysis Division report titled International Points used for FCC Reporting Purposes (International Points), released April 1, 1994. Carriers are required to file separate data for each U.S. point that they serve, Alaska and Hawaii are considered distinct U.S. points for this purpose. The International Points Report uses the following regional codes:

Region Code
Western Europe 1
Africa 2
Middle East 3
Caribbean 4
North and Central America 5
South America 6
Asia 7
Oceania 8
Eastern Europe 9

To capture all international points, this report uses an additional code 10 for International water area.

The reporting services are: International Message Telephone Service (IMTS), International Private Line Service (IPLS), including video and non-video sThe reporting services are: International Message Telephone Service (IMTS), International Private Line Service (IPLS), including video and non-video services, and Miscellaneous or Other International Services. Non-video services account for the majority of the traffic for IPLS. Therefore, in this report, IPLS refers only to non-video services. Video private line services are included in the Miscellaneous Services.

Data Presentation

Table 1 lists the carriers that filed circuit status reports. MCI and Sprint have requested confidentiality under the Freedom of Information Act. WorldCom, Inc. requested confidential treatment of its report. These three carriers' reports are not available to the public. Our data as listed in this report, however, reflects all carriers' information, including MCI, Sprint, and WorldCom's data.

To represent both 1995 and 1996 data and the growth rate of each transmission by service type for each international points, we have presented our data in separate tables for each transmission facility. Table 2 presents undersea cable circuit status; Table 3, Satellite; Table 4, Terrestrial; and Table 5, the Combined transmission circuits. All tables include information by service type for 1995 and 1996 reporting periods.

In Table 2, the undersea cable circuits account for 45% of the overall active transmission capacity in 1996, an increase of 7% from the previous year. For Table 3, the international satellite circuits account for 12% of overall transmission capacity (compare to 16% in 1995). In Table 4, the terrestrial links account for 43% of 1996 active circuit capacity, a decrease of 3% from last year.

Table 5 combines all three transmission medium. A service mix by region for 1996 and 1995 is calculated in the last page of Table 5. For 1995, the IMTS circuits accounted for 80% of the total active capacity; for 1996, the IMTS circuits accounted for 59% of the overall total. In Western Europe, the number of activated circuits in private line lease services has exceeded the number of IMTS circuits. The amount of circuits for private line services has increased significantly from year end 1995 to 1996, a 237% increase compared to 11% growth in IMTS for the same time period.

Table 6 lists the top 30 international points that account for 88% of the total U.S. activated circuits at year-end 1996. Again, Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Japan, and Germany are the top five. A 1995 top 30 ranking order is also presented in the table for comparison. Chile is the only country that was out of the top 30 in 1996. Sweden increased the most, from 29 in 1995 to 15 in 1996. Sweden has the highest private services growth among the top 30 experiencing a 7100% growth in one year. The IMTS to private line services split ratio for the top 30 routes is also listed in Table 6. More than 11 countries experienced heavier traffic on private lines than on IMTS. The ratio of IMTS to private line services has decreased from 4.7 times in 1995 to 1.5 times in 1996.

Supplementary Data

Since the release of the 1996 circuit status report, we received many inquires about cable capacity. Table 7 lists all operational trans-ocean fiber optic cables in 64 kbps units, and planned new cables before the Commission (both granted and pending cables) over time, from 1988 to 1999. The reported combined cable capacity (activated and idle circuits) for Regions 1, 2, 3, and 9 (the maximum geographic area for Trans-Atlantic region) is 101,876 of 64 Kbps circuits. This accounts for 35% of the total available fiber optic cable capacity (as of December 31, 1996). For the Trans-Pacific region, the reported cable capacity accounts for 39% of the total available fiber optic cable capacity(1). We have also listed future cables in Table 7 for further reference. Similar data for satellite and terrestrial cannot be developed since there is no fixed reference for overall total for these transmission media.

1. 1 On average, there is 20-25% foreign ownership of the U.S.-end capacity and vice versa for U.S. carriers to own similar portions of foreign-end capacity on each cable. However, this foreign ownership share changes constantly, and these foreign-owner capacities are not reported under Section 43.82. Also, there is a reasonable time delay of putting available capacity (ownership share) into a specific country capacity pool (driven by demand forecasts). These two factors account for 60-65% of total available capacity. Thus, the quality of the reported cable capacity, which is approximately 37% of total available capacity, appears reasonable.