$300m New York-Dublin-London fibre cable is the splice of life

1 Dec 2015

Cable laying that began simultaneously in Killala and New York has met in the Atlantic

A $300m fibre cable capable of carrying one-third of the world’s voice traffic and all of Europe and the US’ data traffic connecting New York and London via Mayo has been spliced together somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic.

Aqua Comms has completed the final splice of its America Europe (AE) Connect subsea fibre optic cable system, which is due to go live on 31 January 2016.

Three ships – one laying cable from New York, a second in the middle of the Atlantic and a third laying cable from the beach off Killala in Mayo – have met in the middle of the Atlantic and the cables have been spliced together.

“With the final splice of the subsea portion of AEConnect complete, we stand on the cusp of providing unprecedented transatlantic capacity and reliability connecting New York to London and beyond to greater Europe,” said Aqua Comms chief financial officer Martin Roche.

A data bridge over the Atlantic


AEConnect will be the first and only dedicated modern subsea fibre optic cable system running directly from Ireland to the US.

The system will also provide terrestrial connection running from Mayo to Dublin and then across the Irish Sea and on to London and greater Europe.

The cable will also include stubbed branching units for other future landings.  The connection to the UK and Europe will run via CeltixConnect, an existing subsea cable that is also owned by Aqua Comms.

Featuring the latest 130Gbps x 100Gbps fibre pair and 52Tbps of capacity, the AEConnect cable will have the capacity to cover the entire European and American data traffic currently in existence – with the potential to double its capacity within a few years as required.

As well as being capable of handling one-third of the world’s telephone calls, the initial capacity provides for over 1.6 million ultra-high-definition video channels running simultaneously, or over 32 million 4G wireless callers.

It will also have a latency speed of 53.8 milliseconds.

On both the US and European sides, the cable transverses the minimum length of shallow water along the continental shelf, while additional armouring and deeper burial was obtained.

The cable also avoids major fishing grounds and shipping anchorage areas that are known to expose subsea cables to damage.

Killala image via Shutterstock

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