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CrossChannel Fibre celebrates cable landing in France

CrossChannel Fibre landing France.jpg

CrossChannel Fibre, the Canadian-owned fibre company, has completed the landing of the first UK-to-France subsea cable in the English Channel for more than 20 years.

The company, owned by Crosslake Fibre of Toronto, landed its 155km-long cable yesterday at the French seaside resort (pictured) of Veules-Les-Roses in Normandy.

Fergus Innes, senior VP of Crosslake Fibre, said: “Perfect conditions in Veules-Les-Roses allowed the team to successfully complete the French landing of CrossChannel Fibre, the first subsea and terrestrial build between the core compute clusters in the UK (Slough) and France (Paris) in two decades.”

According to TeleGeography, the oldest cross-channel cable in service between France and England before the new one was Circe South, in service in 1999 from Cayeux-sur-Mer to Pevensey Bay. It is 115km long and is owned by euNetworks and Zayo.

England to France was route of the world’s first subsea telecoms cable, which went into service on 13 November 1851 – 170 years ago tomorrow – between Dover and Sangatte.

The new, 2021 cable runs overland from Slough to Brighton, on the south coast of England, where subsea laying started on 30 September, and then overland again from Veules-Les-Roses to the suburbs of Paris. 

The cable connects an Equinix data centre in Slough with Equinix and Interxion data centres to the north-west of Paris. CrossChannel Fibre laid terrestrial cables in advance of the completion of the subsea portion. The first customers will have service from 1 December, Innes told Capacity this morning. 

For the past 25 years the capacity across the English Channel from France to the UK has been dominated by Eurotunnel, the direct link that also hosts fibre connections. Earlier this year Colt won a 25-year franchise from the company that owns the tunnel.

But new cable projects are emerging. In September 2021 euNetworks put into service Scylla, a 204km cable connecting Lowestoft on the east coast of England across the North Sea to Ijmuiden in the Netherlands. In July 2021 Zayo also announced plans for the Zeus cable to link the UK with the Netherlands, due to be ready for service in early 2022.

Crosslake originally planned to connect Ireland to France in its first European venture, following the UK’s vote in 2016 to leave the European Union. But it changed course to connect the UK and France.

Crosslake’s first cable, laid in 2019, runs from Toronto across Lake Ontario to Buffalo in upstate New York and then on to Equinix NY4 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

For its next project, Crosslake plans to return to its homeland, with a scheme to connect Toronto to Montréal. The Maple Leaf Fibre will run from Toronto to Kingston, Ontario, along the bed of Lake Ontario and then from there to Montréal overland.

 

 

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