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Tonga has cable connection to outside world restored

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Tonga’s two-week period without a working subsea cable to Fiji has ended.

The cable had originally fallen over on January 20, and a second fault was subsequently found; however, RadioNZ reported on Saturday that the connection to the main island has been restored.

On Friday afternoon, the Tongan government had said it would take up to 18 hours to splice the cable before services would resume.

“The work to splice the cable on Tonga’s side started at 7am this morning. After the splice, several tests will be conducted, which will take up to 10 hours,” Edwin Liava’a, CEO of Tonga Cable, said at the time.

“By midday tomorrow, the international submarine cable should be back online if there will be no major complications.”

By Saturday evening, it was expected that Tonga’s telcos would be back using the cable connection.

While the cable was down, satellite providers rushed to fill the gap. Mobile network provider Digicel used SES networks, and local ISP Ezinet used a Kacific Ku-band satellite, while New Zealand telco Spark helped get Tonga Communications back online using Intelsat satellites.

Spark said it had restored 100Mbps of connectivity within five days of the outage, which is approximately a quarter of the nation’s usual usage.

The 827km cable between Tonga and Fiji that connects to the Southern Cross Cable went live in August 2013, and was funded jointly by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank. It was later extended out to the Ha’apai and Vava’u islands in April last year.

RadioNZ reported that the connection to the northern islands was expected to take another couple of days, as it too has been cut.

It was also reported that Tonga Cable is looking into a second cable connection to the Pacific nation.


(Image: Tongan government)
tonga-fault1-fiji-side-kink-a.jpg

(Image: Tongan government)

SUBSEA CABLES ACROSS THE GLOBE

  • Vocus’ Australia-Singapore Cable (ASC)
  • Vocus’ North West Cable System (NWCS) between Darwin and Port Hedland, and the new Tiwi Islands spur being added
  • The Australian government’s Coral Sea subsea cable, being constructed by Vocus to connect Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Solomon Islands and funded through the foreign aid budget
  • Google’s Dunant transatlantic subsea cable between Virginia Beach in the United States to the French Atlantic coast
  • The Indian government’s Chennai-Andaman and Nicobar islandssubsea cable, being built by NEC
  • Southern Cross Cables’ NEXT subsea cable system between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, being built by SubPartners
  • The Trident subsea cable system connecting Perth with Singapore via Indonesia
  • The Jupiter subsea cable connecting the US, Japan, and the Philippines and being built by a consortium including Facebook, Amazon, SoftBank, NTT Com, PLDT, and PCCW
  • The Hawaiki subsea cable between Australia, New Zealand, and the US
  • Superloop’s Hong Kong cable
  • Telstra’s Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable between Hong Kong and the US
  • Telstra’s Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) between Hong Kong and the US
  • Google’s Japan-Guam-Australia (JGA) cable system
  • The Asia-Pacific Gateway (APG) subsea cable connecting China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, owned by a consortium including China Telecom, China Unicom, China Mobile, NTT Communications, KT Corporation, LG Uplus, StarHub, Chunghwa Telecom, CAT, Global Transit Communications, Viettel, and VNPT, and being constructed by NEC
  • The Southeast Asia Japan 2 cable (SJC2), which will have 11 landing stations in Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, being built by NEC and funded by a consortium including China Mobile International, Chunghwa Telecom, Chuan Wei, Facebook, KDDI, Singtel, SK Broadband, and VNPT
  • The Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE), connecting Singapore and Hong Kong with the US, being funded by consortium including Facebook, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and China Mobile International, and being built by NEC

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2021 Hennessey Venom 800 Ford F-150 hits 60 mph in 3.6 seconds

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Many Ford fans are looking forward to the 2021 F-150 pickup. The truck is all-new, and the tuners at Hennessey have a special edition for truck buyers wanting sports car performance in their truck. The company says that the Hennessey Venom 800 Supercharged is the most powerful Ford truck it has ever produced.

The Venom 800 Supercharged is also one of the most exclusive Ford trucks the company has ever produced, with only 100 offered for the entire year. Thanks to a supercharger strapped on the 5.0-liter V-8 engine, the truck has 805 BHP and can reach 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The turnkey vehicle starts with the 2021 Ford F-150 Platinum Super Crew four-door pickup.

The 5.0-liter V-8 is backed with a 10-speed automatic transmission, and the truck has four-wheel drive. Upgrades to the truck include an updated fuel pump system, stainless steel exhaust, E 85 flex-fuel sensor, and engine calibration performed on at chassis dyno. The supercharger and tuning double the stock V8 horsepower rating of 400 BHP.

When Hennessey is done, the F-150 has 805 BHP at 6200 RPM and 727 pound-foot of torque at 4100 RPM on E85. Hennessey brags that that is almost 100 horsepower more than the 2021 Ram TRX. The truck is capable of running the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds at 116 mph.

It also gets an updated BREMBO brake system with six-piston calipers and 15.1-inch rotors to slow the monster down. Wheels are 20-inch custom units with 35-inch all-terrain tires. The truck also gets an off-road suspension system with upgraded shocks and external reservoirs supporting a six-inch lift. The front bumper is upgraded along with the grill, and the truck gets new badges. Pricing for the vehicle is $149,500 plus delivery, including the donor pickup.

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Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne: New hyper EV promises more of everything

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Spanish coachbuilder and EV maker Hispano Suiza has announced the arrival of its newest Carmen-based hyper-luxury EV: Carmen Boulogne. From afar, the Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne shares particular design cues with Bugatti’s Chiron supercar.

However, there’s no mistaking those curvaceous rear fenders, a stiff salute to the brand’s pre-war racing cars. According to Hispano Suiza, the Boulogne name dates back to 1921 when the company built a racing version of its H6 Coupe, where it scored three consecutive victories in the George Boilot Cup from 1921 to 1923.

So yes, the newest Carmen Boulogne hyper EV has some racing heritage to its credit. But like the Bugatti Chiron, Hispano Suiza’s latest creation is a proper grand tourer with impressive performance and a welcome dose of luxury.

Similar to a standard Carmen, the Boulogne has two permanent-magnet synchronous electric motors on each rear wheel. However, those four motors are tuned to squeeze out 1,100 horsepower, 95 more horses than a regular Carmen hyper EV. Meanwhile, the torque rating is at a mind-blowing 1,180 pound-feet, accessible from zero to 6,500 rpm.

And whereas Carmen has a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph), Boulogne has longer legs and can reach a maximum speed of 180 mph (290 kph). The sleek and lightweight carbon-fiber body enables Carmen Boulogne to weigh 132 pounds (60 kgs) less than a base Carmen, allowing it to rush from zero to 60 mph in 2.6-seconds.

Having four electric motors in the rear (and a thousand foot-pounds of torque) might sound like a recipe for disaster, but it’s not. Carmen Boulogne has sophisticated torque-vectoring to prevent you from wrapping it to a tree.

Powering those four motors is an 80 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, good for around 248 miles of effective range. Carmen Boulogne can fast-charge at up to 80 kW DC to replenish the batteries in 30 minutes when the juice runs out.

Hispano Suiza is only building 14 units of the standard Carmen, while only five Boulogne models are slated for production, making it more exclusive than a Pininfarina Battista or Lotus Evija.

If you like Carmen Boulogne, prepare your checkbook as base prices start from $2-million (€1.65 million) at current exchange rates. Each of the five cars will take twelve months to build, and the first delivery will happen in 2022.

Hispano Suiza Carmen Boulogne Gallery

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2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition has red wheels and a stealthy vibe

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Audi of America has something in store for early reservists of the 2021 R8 RWD sports car. Unique to the North American market and limited to only 30 units, the R8 Panther edition will be the first rear-wheel-drive R8 models to arrive at dealerships this December.

We’ll get to those red wheels in a minute since the 2021 R8 RWD Panther Edition is brimming with likable details, like that Panther Black paint, for example. It has a deep, glossy black finish from afar, but the paint hue transitions from black to deep purple upon closer inspection.

No, we’re not fans of chameleon paint jobs, either, but Audi’s Panther Black paint is a sight to behold. We first saw this bedazzling finish at the 2019 L.A. Auto Show in an Audi RS 5 Panther Edition, but we never thought it’d look so good in the 2021 Audi R8.

Complementing its new Panther Black paint are a bevy of carbon-fiber exterior trim, including the mirror caps, side intakes, and the rear engine cover. Blacked-out Audi badges are standard, too, while 20-inch double-spoke matte black wheels complete the sinister vibe.

And as you can see, those gorgeous wheels have bright red accents. Love it or hate it, those red wheels are here to stay, but standard Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires will somehow ease the pain.

Meanwhile, the interior is black-and-red like the exterior. Crimson Red leather seats are standard, while the rest of the cabin is covered in black leather with red stitching. On the other hand, the steering wheel, gear shifter, and headliner are swathed in fine Alcantara.

The 2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition remains motivated by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter FSI V10 engine, good for 532 horsepower and 398 pound-feet torque. With this engine, the RS RWD can sprint to 60 mph in 3.6-seconds, while the top speed is at 201 mph.

Additionally, all R8 Panther Edition models get standard sports exhausts along with LED headlights and taillights, dynamic turn signals, illuminated door sills, and a 550-watt Bang & Olufsen audio system with 13 speakers.

Audi said its 2021 R8 Panther Edition will arrive at U.S. dealerships this month. Base prices start at around $183,000 before taxes and destination.

2021 Audi R8 RWD Panther Edition Gallery

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