Construction begins on €15-million Ireland-Wales undersea fibre cable

7 Dec 2009

An undersea fibre cable that will allow businesses in Ireland and Wales to win their share of the US$42-billion cloud-computing market has begun construction. The carrier-neutral telecoms gateway to Europe will go live in 2010.

CeltixConnect, provider of Europe’s most advanced sub-sea telecommunications network, today announced it has commenced construction of an unrivalled hyper-capacity fibre-optic sub-sea cable that will connect Ireland to the UK.

In Dublin’s business area

The CeltixConnect cable will uniquely land directly in the heart of Dublin’s business district at East Point Business Park and the Irish Financial Services Centre (IFSC), connecting from there to the T50, Dublin’s major metropolitan network that links all key business districts, data centres and business parks.

In the UK, the privately owned carrier neutral sub-sea cable will have the ability to connect to the Welsh Assembly-funded Fibre Speed, an open-access fibre-optic network that connects Holyhead, Wales, to Manchester, England, and also with a number of other major fibre-optic networks that connect into London and mainland Europe.

“This is a huge endorsement of the Irish economy and our continued ability to attract foreign direct investment to the country,” the Tanaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD, said.

“A robust and modern telecommunications infrastructure is pivotal for current and future foreign direct investment as well as indigenous job creation,” she added.

What CeltixConnect offers

Once deployed, CeltixConnect will deliver the resilience, diversity and low-latency connectivity now demanded by enterprises, carriers and mobile operators alike.

CeltixConnect will allow end users to buy or lease dedicated dark fibre on the sub-sea cable or alternatively lease high-capacity managed services on this uniquely designed route.

“Today’s announcement signifies a major milestone in the project in light of our submission of the final required regulatory applications,” Tom McMahon, operations director, CeltixConnect said.

“These final applications mark the culmination of a rigorous 18-month permitting process which involved extensive consultation with interest groups both in Ireland and the UK.”

Demand for CeltixConnect-type services is driven in the main by technology and content companies, such as IBM, HP, Google, Amazon, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and by media companies that are transitioning from print to online, analog to digital and from satellite to fibre.

Online content growth

The continuing explosion of online content and the need to transport it is compounded by IT cloud computing applications, such as on-line backup delivered by Amazon and email services such as Hotmail and Google.

Analyst IDC predict that spending on IT cloud services will grow threefold, rising to US$42 billion by 2012. Ireland’s success in attracting and supporting these companies and their peers will be founded, in no small part, on its ability to provide a secure, reliable and cost-effective technical infrastructure of fibre-optic communications – both throughout the country and off the Island.

“Until now, Ireland risked facing the possibility of becoming a marooned digital island,” Diane Hodnett, commercial director, CeltixConnect, said.

“CeltixConnect’s pioneering sub-sea dark fibre business model, where each fibre is capable of carrying up to 960 Gigabits per second (Gbps), the equivalent of 480 hours of video per second, will offer customers increased reliability, security, scalability and technical longevity at a competitive price,” she added.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Tom McMahon, director of operations, Diane Hodnett, commercial director and Jim McMahon, technical director, CeltixConnect.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years