America-Europe Connect submarine network construction begins

Aqua Comms Ltd., which owns and operates the CeltixConnect submarine cable system that crosses the Irish Sea, has launched a larger effort with the America Europe Connect (AEConnect) undersea cable system. The service provider has set TE SubCom loose on the project, with the goal of having the submarine network ready for service in December of this year.

Aqua Comms Ltd., which owns and operates the CeltixConnect submarine cable system that crosses the Irish Sea, has launched a larger effort with the America Europe Connect (AEConnect) undersea cable system. The service provider has set TE SubCom loose on the project, with the goal of having the submarine network ready for service in December of this year.

AEConnect will run from Shirley, NY, to Killala on the West Coast of Ireland, a span of more than 5,400 km. The underwater fiber-optic network will include stubbed branching units for future landings. It also will connect with CeltixConnect for a pathway to London and greater Europe. Sea Fibre, an Acqua Comms company, began offering services on CeltixConnect in 2012 (see "Construction begins on CeltixConnect submarine cable" and "Sea Fibre Networks offers dark fiber services over CeltixConnect").

The new transatlantic network will leverage a software-defined networking (SDN) friendly control plane to provision what Aqua Comms describes as “130 Gbps x 100 Gbps per fiber pair” of capacity. Aqua Comms expects the network to serve the needs of global data centers, cloud-based networks, and content providers. The deployment is expected to cost $300 million, funded in part through a debt offering arranged by Nomura.

“AquaComms' strategy is to build and operate a diversified, solution-based network, providing term and peak capacity product offerings and working in partnership with its contractors, equipment suppliers, backhaul network providers and customers to support the U.S.'s and Europe's expanding data requirements of today and for tomorrow, ultimately offering ‘infrastructure-as-a-service',” says Greg Varisco, COO of AquaComms. “AEConnect is currently being constructed using state-of-the-art technology, with 100G-coherent design for low latency, reliable delivery for even the most bandwidth-hungry applications and direct data center to data center connectivity across the Atlantic.”

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