Meta Partners with Aqua Comms and Bulk Fibre to Deliver Aluminum Conductor Powered Subsea Cable System

  • We have partnered with Aqua Comms and Bulk Fibre Networks to announce the completion of the Havingsten subsea cable system. 
  • Havhingsten is the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system. 

Today we are announcing we have completed the construction of the Havhingsten subsea cable system, in partnership with Aqua Comms and Bulk Fiber Networks. Working with Alcatel Submarine Networks (“ASN”) to build the subsea cable, it will bring greater connectivity across Europe and the Nordics.

The Havhingsten cable system runs across the Irish Sea from north of Dublin, Ireland to south of Blackpool on the west coast of the UK, with a section also linking into the Isle of Man, and from Seaton Sluice in Northumberland to Denmark. This new route offers resilient network architecture options for enterprises, carriers and hyperscalers while delivering the lowest latency available between Dublin and the Nordic region.

The Havhingsten cable system showcases several key innovations and technological milestones in its design and construction.

As the world’s first aluminum conductor powered subsea cable system, this solution required investment in technology and close collaboration with partners and vendors. The removal of traditional copper raw material, and replacement with aluminum from the manufacturing process, benefits the overall system in efficiency and cost reduction, as copper is associated with variable availability and higher price. Additional benefits include improved resistance to hydrogen penetration, an element which is unfavorable to the operation of optical fiber in ocean waters.

The end-to-end system also ensures data is transmitted seamlessly across an unrepeatered subsea segment in the Irish Sea, a terrestrial segment in the UK and a repeatered segment in the North Sea. Typical systems have one or two of these elements, but not all three. The system used an enhanced, jet-assisted burial plough in the North and Irish Sea segments, allowing installers to bury the cable to specific depths in very challenging seabed conditions.

The Havhingsten subsea cable system will provide much needed capacity and reliability improvements to the internet in the region. With more and more people relying on the internet, subsea cables are a vital ingredient to ensuring they’re always connected to what matters. We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact that increased connectivity has on communities, from education to health care. We also know that economies flourish when there is widely accessible internet for businesses.

Subsea cables are part of our continued efforts to invest in foundational infrastructure to keep up with demand for the internet now, and build for the metaverse in the future. We know bringing the metaverse to life will require major advances in underlying connectivity infrastructure. 

We want to make it possible for people to have deep connections and shared experiences with the people who matter to them most — anywhere in the world, and at any time. Investing in subsea cables that bring more people online to a faster internet is one way we’re working to achieve this goal.

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