Monday, August 28, 2006

Hibernia Atlantic Cites Risk to Submarine Cables

Hibernia Atlantic, which operates the trans-Atlantic undersea cable systems linking Dublin, Manchester, London, New York, Halifax, Montreal and Boston, issued a call for the greater awareness and need for government understanding of the submarine cables linking North America with Europe.

Hibernia Atlantic is concerned that the cables' importance as an economic infrastructure has not been properly addressed within the global community.

Hibernia Atlantic said there are two areas that merit attention:

  • Government assistance. Designating protection zones, placing several cables in to one bore pipe, restricting fishing activities and increasing military air surveillance.

  • Educating network purchasers in laying out a plan for sufficient geographic diversity. Both examples are proactive protection approaches versus reactive.

The company points out that some countries have already recognized the extreme importance of the communications infrastructure. For example, Australian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA)'s just announced a new protection regime proposal, restricting and prohibiting certain maritime activities up to 40 nautical miles off the Sydney beaches. These beaches are the limited landing points of some of Australia's most important submarine cables.

"We at Hibernia Atlantic believe that promoting education on the trans- Atlantic existing communications networks will generate increased submarine security," states Derek Bullock, Sr. Director of Operations and Submarine Activity for Hibernia Atlantic. "Currently there are only seven modern fiber optic submarine cables in use in the Atlantic Ocean. And all but two of these cables are owned by foreign organizations and a majority of these companies are sharing common backhaul. We need to consider the security of these lines as the highest priority."

See also