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New 53Tbps UK to USA Transatlantic Fibre Optic Cable Nearly Complete

Tuesday, Aug 11th, 2015 (2:02 pm) - Score 9,576

The United Kingdom is on the verge of benefitting from a major Internet capacity boost in our connectivity with the USA and Canada. After 12 long years of waiting, the first new transatlantic subsea fibre optic cable network – Hibernia Express – is finally making landfall on this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

At a cost of around £190 million ($300m) the new 4,568km long 6-pair fibre optic cable will initially launch during September 2015 with a transmission speed of 100Gbps (Gigabits per second), although future optimisations and enhancements could push this up to a staggering 53Tbps (Terabits per second) or possibly more (total cross-sectional design capacity).

On top of that it will deliver the lowest latency times of any cable available across the Atlantic Ocean at 59.5ms (milliseconds) from New York to London. This might not sound like much when you compare it to the 65ms offered by Global Crossing’s AC-1 cable, but that small difference could be worth tens of millions every year to latency sensitive financial trading.

The cable itself begins its journey on the Canadian coast at Halifax in Nova Scotia and from there it runs under the Atlantic Ocean, making landfall at Cork in Ireland before running on to Slough in England.

Crucially Hibernia Network’s reports that that the spur of its new cable finally came ashore on Garrettstown beach, near Cork, on Monday and it is now being connected to the mainland network.

Omar Altaji, CCO of Hibernia Networks, said:

Our customers are now just weeks away from having access to the most advanced submarine cable system on the market. Financial firms, web-centric companies, media players and traditional telecom service providers alike will benefit from the speed, diversity and scalability that Hibernia Express brings to the transatlantic corridor.”

Multiple cable ships have been used to lay the new cable and amplifiers on the seabed, which is supported by network platforms like the TE SubCom C100 SLTE and Ciena 6500 SLTE. The familiar cable laying ship CS Resolute, which has also been involved in other submarine fibre optic projects around the UK, was the one tasked with bringing the latest link ashore near Cork.

It’s worth pointing out that TrueSpeed Communications has already announced a related deal with Hibernia Networks (here), which will help it to roll-out a pure fibre optic (FTTP) broadband network to cover homes and businesses in parts of North East Somerset and possibly Wiltshire (England). Today’s news bodes well for those plans.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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