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August 17, 2015

Equinix’s NY-London cable to cement ‘digital first’ era

Transatlantic cables are catching up with connectivity levels that are readily available in terrestrial networks today.

By Joao Lima

Colo Equinix is collaborating with network provider Aqua Comms to deploy a 5,400 Km subsea cable connecting New York to London.

The company said the AEConnect cable is scheduled to start operations before the end of the year providing high capacity connectivity.

Russell Poole, UK MD at Equinix, told CBR: "Our data centre campuses in New York and London represent the two largest commercial hubs in the world, with a large concentration of NSP/CSP’s, financial, media and entertainment, and e-Commerce customers.

"This new submarine connectivity gives both Equinix and AquaComms’ customers further opportunities to drive business in today’s global economy"

The cable will cross the Atlantic ocean from Long Island, NY to the West Coast of Ireland. The solution will include stubbed branching units for future landings, and will provide high capacity connectivity from New York to London and other parts of Europe, according to Equinix.

The company added that its New York and London International Business Exchange data centre campuses serve as carrier-neutral network access points for AquaComms to connect its low latency subsea cable route.

The cable will have more than 52 Tbps of available capacity, and the 100G compliant system will utilise optical technologies.

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Speaking to CBR, Andrew Roughan, Director at commercial data centre provider IO, said: "This news reaffirms the UK (and more specifically Slough) as a very relevant international location for data production, consumption and storage as well as a base for cloud computing.

"This type of approach [deploying a transatlantic cable] ensures that the historical perception of the data centre as a single island is over. It is now a part of a global network of connected assets."

As this global network expands, experts believe this is driving the world into a new era of digitalisation and modernisation.

Alex Guillen, Go to Market Marketing Manager at Insight UK, told CBR: "The world is moving into a ‘digital first’ era – where services and solutions are increasingly offered as digital first, with human interaction fast-becoming a second option.

"The advantage of projects like the transatlantic cable is an increase in awareness and adaption of cloud, ensuring further improvement of versatility and mobility of organisations."

Equinix added that to remain competitive, network operators are expanding their infrastructures to meet demand for new services — and are turning to collocation data centres that not only offer all the network-to-network connectivity of a telehouse, but also act as aggregation points for concentrations of customers in network-centric industries.

Jonathan Wright, VP for Service Provider Global Sales at Interoute, told CBR: "The drive for bandwidth remains unabated, from mobile apps through to a profusion of cloud based businesses, all pushing data and needing ever faster connectivity.

"Alongside the finance markets, the need for improved latency is key to the performance of many cloud based applications, thus customers are always seeking lower RTD times – those looking for global solutions may benefit from shorter transatlantic cables, whilst others will look to build a more regional cloud set-up with only a minimal amount of traffic being moved pan-regionally."

The announcement of the AEConnect cable was made less than a week after Hibernia Networks revealed it had deployed a transatlantic cable linking Halifax, Canada to Cork, Ireland, with further extension plans to also connect Slough to the network.

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