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Transatlantic fibre optic cable to come ashore in Westport


Anton McNulty

A Facebook- and Google-funded transatlantic subsea cable system connecting Northern Europe and the US will come ashore in Clew Bay.
Irish submarine cable supplier and operator, Aqua Comms has joined forces with TE Subsea Communications, a company specialising in fibre-optic cable deployments and marine services, to prepare the groundwork for a transatlantic cable network connecting New Jersey in the US with Ireland and Denmark.
Fugro, a Dutch geotechnical, survey, subsea, and geoscience services provider, will be carrying out marine operations on behalf of TE Subsea Communications LLC for the Havfrue Subsea Cable System Project.
Havfrue (Norwegian for Mermaid) is the brand name for the wider cable system, of which Aqua Comms will own and operate a large proportion.
It is the first subsea cable system to connect Northern Europe and the US in almost 20 years, and the project was commissioned by a consortium of companies that includes Bulk Infrastructure, Facebook and Google.
This cable will be the second transatlantic fibre-optic cable to come ashore in Mayo, with  Aqua Comms currently operating Ireland’s first dedicated subsea fibre-optic network connecting New York, London and Dublin, which comes ashore in Killala.
Aqua Comms will also market and sell capacity services on its portion of the Havfrue cable system under the brand name America Europe Connect-2 (AEC-2) as a complement to its existing transatlantic cable, America Europe Connect-1 (AEC-1), running between New York and Killala.
The AEC-2 cable system will complete a ring-based network connecting the US, Ireland, the UK and Denmark. Whereas the AEC-1 cable comes ashore in Killala, the AEC-2 cable looks like it is set to come ashore in Westport.
The project was scheduled to begin on Saturday, January 20, and weather permitting, is to last for approximately 14 days.
This system is due to come online in the fourth quarter of 2019. TESubCom has already launched the cable route survey operations.
The network will connect Dublin to Manchester, and the North Sea Connect cable linking Stellium-operated data centre in Newcastle, England to Esbjerg in Denmark, creating a circular network connecting each of the locations to one another.

MPU Mayo