Subsea cable connecting Isle of Man, Ireland goes live

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A subsea cable designed to strengthen the Isle of Man’s connectivity to Ireland and the UK, with onward connections to continental Europe and the US, has gone live.

Irish-headquartered connectivity services provider Aqua Comms worked closely with the Isle of Man Government to install the new Celtix-Connect 2 cable, as part of its wider strategy to develop the North Atlantic Loop. The installation is now complete, with 75km of fibre optic cable laid in Manx waters and connected to two landing points on the Isle of Man, in Port Erin and Port Grenaugh.

This multi-million-pound direct investment by Aqua Comms will improve the Isle of Man’s access to global data networks, ultimately delivering faster internet speeds and ensuring more resilient and reliable off-island connectivity. Following the Isle of Man’s successful connection to the Celtix-Connect-2 subsea cable system, there are now a total of seven undersea cables connecting the Island to global data networks. The cables have enough capacity to future-proof the island’s connectivity. As 99 per cent of global data travels in undersea cables it’s essential that the island has access to multiple cables to ensure continued connectivity should a cable be damaged.

Alfred Cannan MHK, chief minister and minister for enterprise, commented: ‘Access to global data networks through subsea infrastructure is critical for our future economic growth. Businesses place great importance in the quality of our off-island connectivity so I welcome the investment by Aqua Comms and its partners in this new subsea infrastructure, and am delighted to see the cable go live. The development of sustainable telecommunications and off-island connectivity is one of the key priorities of the Island Plan and helps to create a supportive environment where the economy thrives.’

Richard Oliphant, head of digital infrastructure and telecoms for Digital Isle of Man, added: ‘Our connection to the Celtix-Connect 2 subsea cable is critically important for the Island’s communications in the decades ahead. From people using the internet, to someone swiping their credit card in a shop, to businesses of all shapes and sizes, this subsea infrastructure plays a vital role in delivering that connectivity.’

Kevin Foley, chief financial officer at Aqua Comms, also commented: ‘Aqua Comms is delighted to work with the Isle of Man Government to deliver reliability and resilience through a pair of cutting-edge new communications links. The new network will facilitate on-net direct connectivity from the Island to major data centre hubs in Europe and North America on a competitive carrier neutral basis. Aqua Comms was particularly impressed with the Isle of Man’s Digital Agency, which played an important role within government in helping us to secure this project. We are excited to see how this enhanced connectivity further cements the Isle of Man as a leading hub for the technology industry.’

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26 August 2022

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