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Milestone-Proposal:TPC-1 System

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Docket #:2013-25

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on "Edit with form", check the "Submit this proposal for review" box at the bottom, and save the page.

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s fields of interest? (e.g. “the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science, the allied branches of engineering and the related arts and sciences” – from the IEEE Constitution) Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an Electrical Engineering Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

TPC-1 System, 1964

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

At this site,the first Transpacific Undersea Coaxial Telephone cable linking Japan, Hawaii and the USA was landed. This joint project between American Telephone and Telegraph, Hawaiian Telephone Company, and Kokusai Denshin Denwa was inaugurated on 19 June 1964 by President Lyndon B Johnson and Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda, as they exchanged a congratulatory telephone call on the completion of a bridge between Asia and America.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

IEEE Tokyo

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: IEEE Tokyo
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: IEEE Tokyo
Senior Officer Name: Senior officer name masked to public

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: IEEE Tokyo
IEEE Section Chair name: Section chair name masked to public

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Proposer's name masked to public
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Yamanishi, Ninomiya-Machi, Kanagawa, JAPAN

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need.

The site is where the TPC-1 System was landed in Japan during its operation. The cable was already removed.

Are the original buildings extant?

The building "Ninomiya Cable Landign Station" is not in use, but still exists as of today (October 2013), but will be removed shortly.

Details of the plaque mounting:

The plaque is to be mounted at a courner of the site (the open ground).

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

The site is not used as Cable Landing Station, but is used for mobile system facilities. The site is surrounded by fances. The visitors can be access with prior appointment to KDDI (International Network Department, +81 3 6678 0800).

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

KDDI Corporation

A letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property:

A letter or email from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application:

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

Trans Pacific Cable No. 1 System (TPC-1 System) was the first coaxial submarine cable across the Pacific Ocean (between Japan and USA Mainland), which enabled international telephone and broad band voice transmission services between Asia and USA/Europe. TPC-1 System was the longest coaxial submarine cable system longer than 10,000km containing 474 SD repeaters. The quality of telephone circuit of the longest multi links through TPC-1 System, land cables in North American Continent and submarine cables in Atlantic Ocean was proven to satisfy the CCITT recommendation as the first time. SD cable system, the state of the art coaxial submarine cable system developed by Bell Laboratory in USA was used for TPC-1 System except for HAW-1. The technology developed in SD cable system covers the dynamics of the cable in the sea, the machinery on board a cable ship and methodology of cable lay and repair, which became de facto standard of the cable lay and repair methodology. The technology developed in TPC-1 System has become the foundation of the construction and maintenance for the current optic fiber submarine cable used for international telecommunication.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The extremely high reliability was required for the repeater especially for the vacuum tube in it, which amplifies the transmission signal in tandem. Therequirement of high reliability was achieved by mean ofthe quality controldeveloped by Bell Laboratory and has been proved in long operation of TPC-1 System. The quality control methodology used in SD system was succeeded to current opticfiber submarine cable systems. TPC-1 was necessary to cross the Mariana trench and to be laid on complicated feature of the sea floor along the trenches. Scientists on ocean floor of USA and Japan jointly examined the hydrographic survey data obtained by Japanese oceanography service and determined the safe and stable cable route in the region. The knowledge established through coordination between the academic field and business field has contributed to the planning of the following trans-ocean submarine cable projects.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

In order to satisfy the need for the stable telephone communication between East and West in building a new world order after the second world war, USA and Japan agreed to construct TPC-1 as the national project for both countries and AT&T, HTC and KDD signed the TPC-1 Construction and Maintenance Agreement in February 1962. After the completion of the construction, the telephone traffic through TPC-1 System grew more than 50 percent every year, which showed the big contribution of TPC-1 System to the social and economic activities between Asia and USA/Europe. The telecommunication development in quality and quantity introduced by TPC-1 System, together with the development in transportation, drastically enhanced the inter-continents activities in community exchange and import/export. This drastic growth showed the potential huge growth in telecommunication traffic between East and West and accelerated the construction of the submarine cable networks in East Asia and South East Asia, which, vice versa, contributed in harmonizing East and West. AT&T and KDD enhanced coordination in implementation of TPC-1 System. For example, the considerably large part of SD cable was manufactured and some telecommunication facilities, such as channel banks, echo suppressor, international telephone exchange switch for TPC-1 Systemwere developed and manufactured in Japan under the co-supervision of AT&T and KDD.

References to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or citations to pages in scholarly books. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article.

To be arranged. (1) BSTJ (Bell Systems Technical Journal) (2) KDD Technical Journal (in Japanese)

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

To be arranged.