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Galway as a Transatlantic Fibre Hub

  • 19-12-2009 9:09pm
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭

    No, Brian Guckian has NOT hijacked Sponge Bobs account , I assure you :D

    The completion of the last motorway section of the M6 has reminded me that there are now a profusion of underground fibre capable ducts and a profusion of Duct owners on the Dublin - Galway corridor. Competition and route diversity is good. Putting fibre in and lighting it is even better :D

    High capacity Dublin - Galway fibre routes are lit today and owned by eircom BT and ESB Telecom ( BT has owned the "Western Digital Corridor" for 9 or 10 years now) .

    In addition to those three operators the NRA owns the guts of a continous duct from Galway to Dublin with missing links east of Kilcock and in Athlone while Iarnrod Eireann owns some duct/fibre along the railway line and Bord Gáis own a sizeable duct from Craughwell to Dublin ( and possibly further west.)

    This means that anybody looking to transit high capacity data links across Ireland would be best advised to look at the Galway - Dublin Corridor where the most capacity and greatest competition may be found.

    This brings me to the next point. Much of the current transatlantic fibre is getting old.

    The bulk of it was laid 9-12 years ago and it will start to creak and wheeze in another 10, at most. We are moving into a replacement and upgrade cycle now whether we like it or not.

    Furthermore transatllantic fibre of that generation requires UNDERWATER repeaters every 25-40km all the way across from Canada-Lands End and a complex power umbilical arrangement to keep the erbium doped inline repeaters powered.

    Over the next few years we would be wise to keep an eye on developments in REPEATERLESS cable technology. It is currently feasible at distances up to 400-500km but there are some quiet indications that interspersing passive 'dispersal management ' segments with more traditonal fibre may work at about 2000-3000km now. In other words passive devices may reform the beam instead of having to amplify it regularly.

    3000km is the shortest distance across the Atlantic and in a supreme irony it is about the distance between the Marconi stations in Clifden and Nova Scotia.

    In other words, passive components may be able to reform the beam before dispersal of light and distance catastrophically affect the bandwidth and thruput . This means no power umbilical and no repeaters or a simpified umbilical and repeater topology.

    The alternative is that a 2000km segment may be possible meaning that an umbilical from each end goes to the edge of the continental shelf where a single repeater is installed rather than the profusion of repeaters one gets nowadays on current generation fibre.

    The distance between the Irish and Canadian continetal shelf edges is nearer 2000km than 3000km and it is much easier to find a single repeater in shallow water than a whole scatter of them on the abyssal plain if you gotta do a repair. ( c.14west and c.44west are the shelf edges ) .

    If the IDA had any cop on (and I doubt it ) they would be advised to consider

    a) Checking out capacity issues on transatlantic fibre.
    b) Investigating REPEATERLESS long distance fibre technology.
    c) Marketing their Oranmore Strategic Campus as a Transatlantic Fibre hub for the next decade seeing as (of the assets I already mentioned above).

    1. eircom are within 1/2 mile
    2. BT are within 1/2 mile
    3, CIE are within 100 metres
    4. ESB are within 1 mile
    5. The Gas Duct Network is either 1 or 7 miles away although the pipeline to Galway is 1 mile away
    6. The NRA are 1 mile away.

    And getting the west of Ireland onto the international fibre map for the 5 - 10 years of a head start it will get as repeaterless fibre is unable to hop from New York to London ....but if it can do Galway Newfoundland then that will come just like the Boeing 707 made Shannon and Gander irrelevant in the 1960s.

    Yes it will require ducts to be built out to the west coast where the fibre will go underwater thereafter.

    Yes it will be a short term advantage ...because technology will move on. However a short term advantage is USELESS if you do not have the wits to exploit it while you have it. Nobody will remove these communication assets once they are installed.

    Yes they must talk to Newfoundland and to Nova Scotia on the other side and formulate a joint approach and policy ,especially because Newfoudland just built the infrastructure on the East Coast in Milton service the new Greenland fibre.

    The owner of the single largest underwater network in the world (STT) Global Crossing has just taken over eircom.

    Finger out IDA, get the west of Ireland onto the competitive map where it has ALWAYS been able to compete except that unlike the Cable and the Wireless of Victorian times we are much better able to leverage these assets nowadays.

    Open an immediate dialogue with Global Crossing and STT and see what comes of it.

    ( List of cable deployments in this decade)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,295 ✭✭✭dowlingm

    Are you taking into account that Project Kelvin is about to go live?

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    dowlingm wrote: »
    Are you taking into account that Project Kelvin is about to go live?

    Of course, you do know Project Kelvin is a net add of 0 across the Atlantic Dowlingm. It is a branch or sub ring.

    It does add NI/Donegal maybe Monaghan capacity because the branch / subring is routed through there.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,295 ✭✭✭dowlingm

    I don't know that much about it apart from the fuss about where it would land in NI and who would have best access on Slugger O'Toole tbh.

    Which fibre is going dark once Kelvin goes live?

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭Sponge Bob

    None overall I would say , they probably lit one of the redundant pairs as a getaround for a failure on a live pair further east. Most failures occur on the continental shelf and are caused by dragging anchors and fishermen. If not a redundant pair then they darkened a pair or two between Malin Head and Stockport/Dublin and that is all.

    This project gives them a certain degree of redundancy across one of their riskier sections through the Irish sea and the Straits of Moyle but no net capacity gain west of Malin Head. Most faults occur through "aggression" in sub 200m waters you see. All explained neatly here
    External aggression on submarine cable remains the primary cause of cable faults. Activity such as fishing, anchoring, geological events, abrasion and dredging make up most external aggression categories. Most faults continue to occur in less than 200m of water depth.