9m | Alan Burkitt-Gray
CrossChannel Fiber, the Canadian-owned fiber company, has completed the landing of the first UK-France submarine cable in the English Channel in over 20 years.
The company, owned by Crosslake Fiber of Toronto, yesterday laid its 155 km long cable in the French seaside resort (photo) of Veules-Les-Roses in Normandy.
Fergus Innes, Senior Vice President of Crosslake Fiber, said: “Perfect conditions at Veules-Les-Roses allowed the team to successfully complete the French landing of CrossChannel Fiber, the first underwater and land construction. between the main computing clusters in the United Kingdom (Slough) and France (Paris) in two decades.
According to TeleGeography, the oldest cross-Channel cable in service between France and England before the new one was Circe South, in service in 1999 from Cayeux-sur-Mer to Pevensey Bay. It is 115 km long and is owned by euNetworks and Zayo.
England to France was the route of the world’s first submarine telecommunications cable, which entered service on November 13, 1851 – 170 years ago tomorrow – between Dover and Sangatte.
The new 2021 cable runs by land from Slough to Brighton on the south coast of England, where submarine laying began on September 30, and then by land from Veules-Les-Roses to the Parisian suburbs.
The cable runs from an Equinix data center in Slough to the Equinix and Interxion data centers in northwest Paris. CrossChannel Fiber laid land cables before the completion of the submarine portion.
Over the past 25 years, capacity across the Channel from France to the UK has been dominated by Eurotunnel, the direct link which also hosts the fiber connections. Earlier this year, Colt won a 25-year franchise from the company that owns the tunnel.
But new cable projects are emerging. In September 2021, euNetworks commissioned Scylla, a 204 km cable from Lowestoft on the east coast of England across the North Sea to Ijmuiden in the Netherlands. In July 2021, Zayo also announced plans for the Zeus cable to link the UK to the Netherlands, which is expected to be ready to go into service in early 2022.
Crosslake had initially planned to connect Ireland with France in its first European company, following the United Kingdom’s vote in 2016 to leave the European Union. But he changed course to link the UK and France.
Crosslake’s first cable, laid in 2019, connects Toronto across Lake Ontario to Buffalo in upstate New York, then to Equinix NY4 in Secaucus, New Jersey.
For his next project, Crosslake plans to return to his home country, with a plan to link Toronto to Montreal. Maple Leaf fiber will travel from Toronto to Kingston, Ontario, along the bed of Lake Ontario, then from there to Montreal by land.