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Emerald Networks launches $300m transatlantic fibre optic cable

Posted on 30.12.2011 - 14:00 EST in SUBSEA TELECOMS NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

Emerald Networks launches $300m transatlantic fibre optic cableEmerald Networks, Inc., a subsea cable system owner/operator that provides low latency transatlantic capacity to the wholesale market, today announces that the Group is to install, for completion by the Spring of 2013, the highest capacity, low latency, transatlantic submarine cable system in order to meet the ever increasing high density data requirements between the U.S. and Europe. The Group which already has cornerstone investment from the Wellcome Trust, has recently appointed Jefferies & Company, Inc., the global investment banking firm, to complete a US$300 million fundraise in order to finance the project.

Emerald Networks' submarine cable system is a new-build 5,200 kms network connecting North America to Europe with extraordinary new capacity that will handle current, and more importantly, future demand faster. It will disrupt the aging transatlantic fibre systems and bring a new super information highway across the Atlantic at a transmission rate of 100 Gbps per channel. With an expected latency of less than 62 milliseconds round trip from New York to London, Emerald Express will be one of the fastest networks across the Atlantic. The last of the transatlantic cables were installed back in 2003, as a result transatlantic demand is expected to outstrip capacity by 2015.

The unique route that Emerald Networks has carefully selected will provide the largest low latency route across the Atlantic. Linking Shirley, New York (Long Island) and Belmullet on the West Coast of Ireland, with a branching unit to Grindavik, Iceland, the route will provide the most robust, diversified, and secure connection between the financial markets of New York and London (please see route map).

Emerald Eexpress geographic overview

The Emerald Networks route triangulates the Atlantic and capitalises on the proximity to New York, Iceland's competitive location and hydro and geothermal renewable resources, and Ireland's strategic location, accessible government and attractive tax laws. This system will ensure that the key financial markets of London and New York have never been better served.

While the offshore high performance computing market is relatively immature, major US and international companies are already looking at locating their data centers in Iceland to take advantage of the readily available, 100% green and renewable, energy and also utilising Iceland's ambient temperatures to provide free cooling. By routing the transatlantic cable from New York to Ireland, and including the branch link into Iceland, the Group enables the link to a secure, premium environment, powered by renewable energy sources, in a cost efficient manner.

Gudmundur Arni Stefansson, Ambassador of Iceland to the United States, commented: "Geographically Iceland is perfectly positioned to be a key landing point for transatlantic cables and we are delighted that Emerald Networks has chosen a route which will allow leading global corporations to take advantage of Iceland's strategic location utilising our free natural cooling as well as hydro and geothermal energy sources assisting them in driving down costs of their data center operations."

Emerald Networks' fibre optic cable is designed at 100 waves x 100 Gbps per Fibre Pair (60Tbit total transatlantic design capacity). The speed of computing doubles every 18 months and Telegeography expects the demand for transatlantic capacity to increase nearly nine-fold between 2010 and 2017. Therefore, the need for a robust solution to meet demand is paramount. As the current subsea cables are nearing the end of their useful life and the operational cost to maintain them becomes impractical leaving the need for newer, faster, low latency systems like Emerald Networks, which will also have the advantage of utilizing with the latest coherent technology.

Ray Sembler, CEO of Emerald Networks, commented: "This is an extremely exciting time and we believe we are well placed to execute our strategy. We expect to be ready for service by Spring 2013 with the largest, low latency submarine fibre optic cable the industry has seen. TE SubCom, the undersea cable system supplier has commenced operations and we look forward to their successful completion of the project. Their experience in building quality subsea cable systems is readily known and the fact that they are a US-based turnkey supplier makes them an ideal provider for the Emerald Express system. AP Telecom, our agent reseller, has already successfully commenced pre-sales activity with agreements to be signed imminently. Strong relationships have been built with the governments of Iceland and Ireland, who are fully supportive of our plans as they recognise the inward investment that the subsea cable will bring. And finally, Emerald Networks has engaged Jefferies, a world-class investment bank to raise the necessary capital for the successful completion of the system.""With the last transatlantic cable systems installed back in 2003 coupled with the increasing levels of demand for higher density data transfer, customers are seeking the security of a system which can replace their capacity needs on a longer lease basis. We firmly believe that Emerald Networks provides the solution to this issue and our system will transform transatlantic communications, providing both low-latency and ultra-high bandwidth capacity between the US and the UK, through advanced submarine fibre optic cable and delivering an unparalleled service."

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