HICKORY, N.C., June 30 -- Corning Cable Systems has agreed to install an 8,200 km fiber optic cable network linking 15 countries in three continents. The submarine cable contract was issued by the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS1) consortium. The ARCOS1 network is mostly owned by New World Network -- a conglomeration of US-based companies. The network will connect countries in the Caribbean area as well as the US, Venezuela, Mexico, Columbia and Panama. By early next year the Miami to Puerto Rico segment of ARCOS1 will be complete, and the rest of the project should be done the following September, said New World. The ring configuration provides high reliability because of its permanent automatic self-restoration, said Ignacio Ospino, vice president of Submarine Cable Systems. Additionally, the network has a high connectivity because it reaches 15 countries. The partners of the contractor consortium were chosen because of their experience and leadership in the undersea sea cable and telecommunications industry. The network will be made up of two repeatered segments including about 2000 km and 22 unrepeatered segments with more than 6000 km of Corning Cable Systems' 24 fiber Minisub optical cable.