Orange to land AMITIE cable on the Gironde coast of France

Orange to land AMITIE cable on the Gironde coast of France

08 February 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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Orange is days away from the landing of the AMITIE subsea cable on a beach in the district of Le Porge, near Bordeaux (Gironde).

The news marks the first stage of the system build with nearly 800km of cable laid. Orange is a member of the consortium building this 6,800km cable project, which will connect Massachusetts (USA), Le Porge (France) and Bude (UK). The rest of the consortium is comprised of Facebook, Vodafone, Microsoft and Aqua Comms,

“With this new agreement, we are again demonstrating our skills and expertise in transatlantic submarine cables,” said Jean-Luc Vuillemin, head of international networks and services at Orange.

“Against the backdrop of a boom in international traffic, the arrival of these increasingly efficient, cutting-edge submarine cables reinforces the strategic and national advantage linked to submarine cables. Orange continues to play a leading role in this global market and is committed to developing infrastructure to connect France to other continents.”

Due to go live in early 2022, Orange will gain two pairs on the new system, offering capacity up to 23Tbps each.

In addition, Orange will serve as the French landing provider on AMITE, specifically operating and maintaining the system’s landing station. Orange will also supply the system’s terrestrial connectivity, starting from this station towards Bordeaux, then Paris and Lyon, before connecting to the rest of Europe.

AMITE’s landing in Bordeaux also creates the opportunity to turn the region into a international digital hub, with the development of new data centres and the like. Orange was also able to reuse the existing infrastructure to minimise the work and limit the impact on local residents and the environment.

“As part of the AMITIE project coordinated by Orange, decentralised State services have joined forces in Gironde to coordinate public partners as well as private partners,” added Fabienne Buccio, prefect of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region and prefect of Gironde.

“This included steering committees supervised by a lead sub-prefect which were organised every two months in the prefecture, then remotely. This is an example of public-private cooperation to create wealth and technological innovation able to demonstrate our country’s industrial capabilities. This project is part of a national policy to enhance the appeal of electronic communications cables. Completed on time despite the pandemic, it opens the door for others along our coast,”

The project implemented environmentally conscious processes taking into account the of the sites involved (beaches, dunes, forests) and used the latest technologies to avoid impacting the ecosystem and local flora and fauna.

This includes directed horizontal drilling that took place 20 metres under the beach and dunes. Additionally, the route to the landing station was optimised to avoid impacting the forest by using existing paths and the edges of local roads.