Commonwealth Pacific Cable System

COMPAC, the Commonwealth Pacific Cable System, was an undersea telephone cable system connecting Canada with New Zealand and Australia. It was completed by closing the last gap in Honolulu Harbor, Hawaii, at 6:25 a.m. B.S.T. on October 10, 1963. Public service of the cable commenced early in December 1963.[1]

The system cost a total of $100 million[citation needed] and spanned 14,000 miles, from Oban in Scotland via CANTAT to Newfoundland, by microwave link across Canada, then cable on to Hawaii, Suva (Fiji), Auckland (New Zealand), and Sydney (Australia). Three cable ships (CS Mercury, CS Retriever, and HMTS Monarch) laid the cable. The link contains 11,000 miles of telephone cable, which, at the time, provided 80 two-way speech channels or 1,760 teleprinter circuits.[2] In addition, the cable carries telegraph traffic, leased circuits for airlines, shipping companies and other commercial transmission.[3]


  1. ^ Collins, Robert, A Voice from Afar: The History of Telecommunications in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1977, pp. 292-295.
  2. ^ "History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy - 1963 COMPAC Cable". Retrieved 2013-07-31.
  3. ^ "History of the Atlantic Cable & Submarine Telegraphy - Stamps". Retrieved 2013-07-31.