Magnet parent expands across North America


7 Sep 2006

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Ken Petersen’s Hibernia Atlantic, which owns Irish broadband company Magnet Networks, has revealed that it is expanding its points of presence (POPs) across North America. The company owns a 12,200km trans-Atlantic fibre network linking Ireland with the US.

Hibernia Atlantic’s trans-Atlantic network was acquired by Peterson’s investment vehicle Columbia Ventures four years ago along with a data centre for US$18m. The data centre and the trans-Atlantic cable system was originally built in Dublin at a cost of €900m and was sold for the €18m when its previous owner 360 Networks filed for bankruptcy.

In May, siliconrepublic.com reported that Hibernia Atlantic had struck a deal to sell the 20,000 sq ft data centre in Clonshaugh in north Dublin to US firm Digital Realty Trust. New York Stock Exchange-listed Digital Realty Trust also bought a further 2.6 acres adjacent to the building upon which it intends to build additional data centre facilities.

It is understood that online retailer Amazon has signed a 10-year lease with Digital Realty Trust to use a portion of the data centre.

It emerged yesterday that Hibernia Atlantic has doubled its fast and redundant fibre optic network in North America to now include seven new network POPs in Toronto, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and New Jersey.

As a result, Hibernia Atlantic clients’ mission-critical and financial communications can be redirected to and from Connecticut and New Jersey, bypassing the island of Manhattan, and then securely north to Canada and then across to Europe. Hibernia Atlantic offers these city pair selections around New York City as a primary route. All other submarine cables need the critical interconnection in New York City to access Canada, Europe and the UK.

Hibernia’s recent customer acquisitions include household names in the communications and financial sectors, including international telecoms firms, ISPs, content providers and global investment banks.

Other cities in Hibernia Atlantic’s North American network include Halifax, Montreal, Boston, Albany and New York.

Hibernia’s Ireland and UK cities include Dublin, Waterford, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Southport, Manchester and London. Currently, the Hibernia route is the only direct link between Canada and Ireland.

“Hibernia’s redundant cable offers the ability to steer traffic around from city to city,” said Eric Gutshall, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Hibernia Atlantic, “and this diversity does not stop once our cable hits the ocean.

“Unlike every other trans-Atlantic route, Hibernia’s US-built transport does not traverse congested areas, like the New York and New Jersey waterways, with single terrestrial backhaul routes.

“A key selling point is our North Atlantic crossing; CIOs and Network Planners choose our diverse network footprints, secure backhaul routes and low-latency bandwidth to support their companies’ critical systems,” Gutshall said.

By John Kennedy