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Colt and Getlink to Deploy New Fibre Optic Network via Channel Tunnel

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 (9:07 am) - Score 1,536
Channel-Tunnel-with-Car

Colt Technology Services and Getlink have today signed an exclusive new 25-year agreement to install and operate a new multi-Terabit speed fibre optic IQ Network through the Channel Tunnel, which runs between the UK (Folkestone, Kent) and France (Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais) under the English Channel sea.

The Channel Tunnel is the longest undersea rail tunnel in the world: its section under the sea is 38km long (over 50km if you include the under-land sections), although it is actually composed of three tunnels, each 50km long, bored at an average 40 metres below the sea bed. But it’s also about to help boost fibre optic connectivity between the UK and Europe.

NOTE: Colt and Getlink aren’t the first to do this, but the contracts for dark fibre installed in the Tunnel in 1998 are due to progressively expire until 2025. Colt will then take over their operation.

The agreement will generate a minimum of €185m over the period for Getlink, with more than a third secured over the first 5-years. Colt will carry out the installation and entire operation of the IQ Network in accordance with the Channel Tunnel’s safety and security regulations, while Getlink will be responsible for maintenance. Colt will fully commercialise Getlink’s Channel Tunnel optic fibre and increase Getlink’s internal telecoms capacity – a subsea infrastructure and connectivity route that has never seen downtime.

The significant increase in bandwidth between the UK and mainland Europe will no doubt help to meet the high growth in data traffic expected by 2025, making the Channel Tunnel a vital link not only for passengers and goods but also for data.

Keri Gilder, Chief Executive Officer of Colt, said:

“Colt is thrilled to have entered this strategic agreement with Getlink. There is a growing demand for bandwidth between the UK and mainland Europe, which will only increase in the coming years. By running our IQ Network through the Channel Tunnel, Colt customers will benefit from reliable, low latency, high bandwidth connectivity with the option of full diversity across the entire Tunnel span.

The future potential of the Tunnel connectivity is significant, and it’s an exciting time for the wider telco industry as we continue to leverage the power of relationships to drive digital transformation and move towards the digital future.”

We should add that the existing Colt IQ Network is a 100Gbps optimised, high bandwidth and low latency network that connects over 900 data centres and over 29,000 on net buildings globally.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Andy says:

    “Getlink’s internal telecoms capacity – a subsea infrastructure and connectivity route that has never seen downtime.”
    This might be the case, but during the 1996 tunnel fire the UK France 4 system, that went through the tunnel went down. Those being the days of manual patch restoration, it took a long time to restore services as there was no manual restoration plan, as that cable system would never fail……

  2. Craig Sanderson says:

    Will be a tad hard for Russian military vessels – sorry fishing boats to drag up that cable being 40m below the seabed.

    1. A_Builder says:

      Humbug

      They will just wander in through the steel security door propped open disguised in full motorway high vis carry took boxes and laptops.

      If challenged, which you never are if you give off a certain air, you produce reams of useless credentials.

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