Sea Fibre reveals details of Ireland to France cable

04 September 2012 |


Ireland’s Sea Fibre Networks has exclusively revealed to Capacity details of its latest project, the first direct route between Ireland and mainland Europe.

The FastnetConnect dark fibre submarine cable system linking Cork, Ireland, to Lannion, France, with a possible spur to the UK, is now in the preliminary design and permit application stage. It has a scheduled ready for service date of 2014.

The cable will complete the final section of a resilient fibre ring between Ireland, the UK and Europe generating a mesh system for the transatlantic cables occupying the area.

“At the moment all of Ireland’s connectivity to continental Europe has to go through the UK, and there are a whole host of problems with that,” said Diane Hodnett, CEO of Sea Fibre Networks.

Sea Fibre is looking to capitalise on demand for capacity and resiliency across the Irish Sea, having launched the first new cable in the region for more than a decade earlier this year.

The company’s Dublin to Wales CeltixConnect route doubled existing capacity between the UK and Ireland and at 100km shorter than its closest competitor provides the lowest latency route between the two countries.

While Hodnett revealed that FastnetConnect would not be aimed specifically at the low latency market, she admitted that Sea Fibre would try to keep the length of the route as short as possible without crossing unfavourable seabed conditions.

There is still, however, one hurdle that is standing in the way of Sea Fibre’s plans: establishing cost-effective capacity between Cork and the capital Dublin, where many of the potential financial, data centre and multinational customers for FastnetConnect are based.

Due to a lack of investment, capacity between the two cities is now, according to Hodnett, more expensive than from Dublin to Frankfurt.

“If we can’t find another provider to resolve that, then it is something that we’d have to seriously look at ourselves,” she said.

The company also recently constructed its own route in the UK from London to Manchester, providing customers with end-to-end carrier solutions.