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‘Zeus’ subsea route connects UK and mainland Europe

Global communications infrastructure platform, Zayo has launched the Zeus subsea route connecting the UK and continental Europe via access points in Lowestoft, UK, and Zandvoort, Netherlands.

Zeus has a high fibre count - 192 fibres- and uses Corning SMF-28 ultra-low loss (ULL) optical fibres, so wavelength throughput on a single channel between London and Amsterdam can reach up to 600G. The network can handle 2,650Tb/s of C Band when at capacity and 5,200Tb/s of C+L Band. The route includes terrestrial backhaul connectivity to London and Amsterdam.

Zeus is buried between two and three metres under the North Sea bed, which, according to the company, makes it one of the most deeply-buried subsea cables - many traditional cables are comparatively buried at around half a metre. It is dual-armoured through the joints to prevent interference and continuously monitored via OTDR devices for rapid fault identification. 

The project was not without its challenges. Amongst the hundreds of pieces of debris the Zeus team came across was a World War II-era bomb. The team worked with the Royal Netherlands Navy to detonate the 80- year-old explosive, working to limit disruption and preserve the ecology of the sea. 

As well as the connectivity benefits, subsea cables also have the potential to help predict natural catastrophes, allowing for earlier evacuation.

Jesper Aagaard, president of Zayo Europe commented: ‘Zeus is now the strongest connection available in the region. We utilised the best cable available, buried it deeper in the seabed than our competitors and made it even more reliable than alternatives. We are confident our customers will benefit from this project for years- and even decades- to come.’ 

Geir Holmer, CEO of JTD Associates and a key consultant on the project added: “The North Sea is an extremely challenging body of water for a subsea project like Zeus. Not only are there harsh weather conditions and relentless currents, the seabed is littered with items, some as simple as a discarded aluminum can and some as formidable as unexploded bombs left over from the Second World War. Not only did we overcome these challenges, we worked tirelessly with Zayo to ensure this route was built to last. I’m proud to have been part of this project, and what it will enable for decades to come.’

Earlier this year, Zayo made waves in terrestrial networking, after completing a terrestrial 800G optical wavelength in a commercial network at 1,044.51km. The company said that this beat the previous world record by 74.5km.


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