Thursday, October 19, 2017

‘Avoid UK completely, go directly to New York’: New Brexit subsea cable to link EU-US

Further connectivity to be enhanced in Asia with Singapore-Mumbai cable that aims to fight “atrocious access charges”.

A new transatlantic cable which avoids the UK has been announced between Europe and the US as the “chaos around Brexit” grows.

Named Brexit-1, the cable will link Marseille, France, to New York, crossing the Strait of Gibraltar.

114-world-map-vectors-1013tm-setsv3-114.epsThe project was announced by telecoms expert and entrepreneurs Sunil Tagare, who first developed the concept of the a fiber-optic link around the globe (FLAG) back in 1989. Owned by the Global Cloud Xchange, today FLAG extends to 28,000 Km.

Tagare announced the project on LinkedIn and explained that Brexit-1 will “be a submarine cable connecting more than a dozen cables landing in Marseilles from the Middle East, India and Asia to New York bypassing the United Kingdom”.

The entrepreneur claims the cable will be safer and more reliable than other trans-European solutions as it is a direct cable without points-of-presence (POP). Tagare has also said the cable will be the lowest latency infrastructure deployed between Marseille and New York.

Talking about Brexit, Tagare said: “With the chaos around Brexit, it is virtually impossible to know how it will shake out over the next few years. The best bet right now, is to avoid UK completely and go directly to New York.”

Tagare’s announcement around the Brexit-1 cable was met with mixed reactions from industry professionals.

Reacting to the announcement on LinkedIn, industry professionals questioned the higher reliability of Brexit-1 over other terrestrial routes between Marseille and cable landing stations on the Atlantic.

As for Brexit, experts highlighted that most major cables announced recently have also avoided the UK, however, not due to Brexit but due to the lack of content providers’ data centres in the country.

Peter Jamieson, who serves as chairman of the European Subsea Cable Association and principal engineer for the Virgin Media core fiber optic network, commented on a personal level: “It is not just this cable, every future Trans-Atlantic cable recently installed or planned within the next five years (except Hibernia Express, which goes to the UK but also has a branch to Eire) is avoiding the UK.

“But it has nothing to do with Brexit, the new systems are being driven by the content guys and they do not have any data centres in the U.K. Brexit will not impact any future builds to the UK. The UK is still well served by the infrastructure installed during the .com bubble. although it is getting a bit long in the tooth now.

“London will continue as global financial centre after Brexit, and new infrastructure will be built when it is demanded. Indeed Brexit should be seen as an opportunity to de-shackle the UK from Euro legislation to encourage more content players , data centre builders etc to base themselves in the UK and drive new cable builds to the UK.”

114-world-map-vectors-1013tm-setsv3-114.epsElsewhere, in addition to the European-American cabling system, Tagare also announced a second cable that will connect Tuas in Singapore to Mumbai, India.

Named Sing-India-Sing, the cable will land in an open cable station in Mumbai where the Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) charges will be zero and any carrier will be able to access the CLS without any prejudice.

RIO is an offer document setting out matters relating to the price, and terms and conditions, under which a carrier permits the interconnection of another carrier to its network.

According to Tagare, such regulations enable carriers to charge “atrocious access charges”.

The cable will be connected to Open India, an internet exchange with several local carriers.

Tagare said the cable will only sell full fiber pairs and that customers will be able to manage their own equipment and upgrade as and when they want.

“It is quite possible you may not need a full fiber pair to India right now but if the price you are paying for a full fiber pair is equivalent to a handful of 100G circuits today, what difference does it make? The minimum speed per fiber pair will be 10 Tbps,” he said.

Similarly to Brexit-1, Sing-India-Sing will not have any POPs

Tagare said: “I am a huge supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a Digital India and my goal is very simple — to make India one of the most important hubs of bandwidth in the world.

“Once the Open India CLS initiative starts working, I can contemplate several new cables landing in that station — free from the arcane RIO regulations.

“The time has come for an Open India solution to the access issues. Every Indian carrier as well as foreign companies will benefit significantly.

“The Government of India is fully supportive of this initiative which will bring down the RIO costs to Zero.”