Subsea Special: Filling the digital gap

10 January 2013 | Guy Matthews


Submarine cable projects that address small communities don’t always make the headlines, but nevertheless have the ability to transform lives through the power of fibre connectivity.

A great deal of fanfare inevitably attends the launch of a major submarine network. The lighting of an IMEWE or an EASSy is, quite understandably, the subject of much press coverage, amid talk of important stimulus for developing economies in need of either added cable diversity or increased international capacity.

The rationale for these multi-terabit projects tends to speak for itself. Less obvious at times is the business case for the dozens of smaller fibre launches that take place largely unheralded each year.

In fact, outside of the often very small communities these cables are built to support, virtually no attention is paid.

Between them, though, these smaller systems are quietly filling in the digital gaps on the world map, empowering populations that have been marginalised by reliance on high-priced satellite connectivity for decades.

Here we examine a sample of three of the less celebrated submarine projects of the past...



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