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CrossChannel’s England-France subsea fibre carrying traffic

Mike Cunningham French beach.jpg

The first subsea cable connecting the UK and France for 20 years is now carrying traffic.

Crosslake Fibre said that its CrossChannel submarine cable is now in operation, linking data centre hubs in Slough, west of London, with Paris.

“The CrossChannel system will provide critical internet backbone infrastructure across the English Channel for decades to come,” said Mike Cunningham (pictured), CEO of Canadian company Crosslake Fibre.

“We are excited to launch the CrossChannel system which is the culmination of years of development and incredible effort by the Crosslake Fibre team and its many suppliers.”

The subsea part of the cable, the first to connect England and France since Circe South in 1999, runs from Brighton on the south coast of England to Veules-Les-Roses in Normandy, where it landed in November.

The 149km submarine segment in the system, which has an overall length of 550km, is designed to be physically diverse from existing fibre infrastructure.  CrossChannel directly connects Equinix LD4 in Slough, to Interxion PAR3 and Equinix PA7 in Paris, with extensions to various points-of-presence in both cities. 

Crosslake said that CrossChannel is now the lowest latency fibre connection between these hubs, with a round trip delay of less than 5.5ms.

Crosslake is providing a dark fibre service and also deploying Ciena’s 6500 packet-optical platform powered by WaveLogic 5 Extreme.

The company’s first connection, across Lake Ontario on the US/Canadian border, linking New York and Toronto, went into service in 2019.

In the English Channel, Crosslake is using Ciena’s Manage, Control and Plan with Liquid Spectrum's Channel Margin Gauge app to allocate and scale capacity in real time, from 600Gbps to 800Gbps and quickly adapt to changing customer requirements and maximise the value of the deployed system.

Crosslake’s next plan is to return to Canada, linking Toronto and Kingston through Lake Ontario and continuing to Montréal in the neighbouring Canadian province of Québec.