Typical. Crap weather halts work on subsea fibre-optic cable between UK and France

Summer was good while it lasted


Strong winds and choppy seas have delayed the deployment of a new subsea fibre cable running under the English Channel connecting data centres in France and the UK.

The cable – called CrossChannel Fibre – is due to link Equinix data centres in London and Paris via Brighton on the South Coast of England and Veules-les-Roses near Dieppe.

Work was due to start this week, but the arrival of autumn storms has meant that cable laying has been put on hold until calmer weather is forecast.

Once complete, the CrossChannel Fibre will be the first subsea fibre-optic project laid across the English Channel in nearly 20 years. Built by Crosslake Fibre and terminating in Equinix data centres, the 520km cable should be capable of delivering over 20 terabits per fibre pair, of which there are 96.

Those behind the project claim it will provide the lowest latency fibre network between the capital cities of England and France. It is due to be ready for service later this year.

A spokesperson for Crosslake Fibre, which is working with Equinix on the project, said: "We are running one, two days behind at the moment due to weather as some of the work is weather sensitive. [This is] nothing out of the ordinary for offshore work, [and] any halts are temporary in nature."

They added: "None of the subsea cable has been laid. The shore-end landing work is weather-sensitive as we need vessels that can essentially beach themselves, so we are awaiting a window to do so in Brighton."

The work was scheduled to begin on Monday and, weather permitting, should take around three weeks to complete.

In other cable news, the 2Africa consortium – which includes the likes of China Mobile International, Facebook, Orange, Telecom Egypt, and Vodafone – has successfully added another leg of its subsea cable called 2Africa PEARLS, which connects Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Unhindered by fast-moving weather systems sweeping in from across the Atlantic, the 2Africa consortium extended its reach to the Arabian Gulf, India, and Pakistan, it confirmed today.

It brings the total length of the 2Africa cable system to more than 45,000km, making it the "longest subsea cable system ever deployed."

Kevin Salvadori, VP of networking infrastructure at Facebook, one of those behind the project, explained that Africa is the "least connected continent, with only a quarter of its 1.3 billion people connected to the internet."

"The 2Africa subsea cable system will provide nearly three times the total network capacity of all the subsea cables serving Africa today," he added.

Earlier this month, Google's newest transatlantic subsea cable was finally hauled ashore in Cornwall, more than a year after the megacorp revealed plans to connect the UK and US.

The arrival of the Grace Hopper cable – named after the computer science pioneer – saw the 16-fibre pair (32 fibres) Google-funded cable successfully brought ashore near Bude on the picturesque northern coast of Cornwall. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Cheers ransomware hits VMware ESXi systems
    Now we can say extortionware has jumped the shark

    Another ransomware strain is targeting VMware ESXi servers, which have been the focus of extortionists and other miscreants in recent months.

    ESXi, a bare-metal hypervisor used by a broad range of organizations throughout the world, has become the target of such ransomware families as LockBit, Hive, and RansomEXX. The ubiquitous use of the technology, and the size of some companies that use it has made it an efficient way for crooks to infect large numbers of virtualized systems and connected devices and equipment, according to researchers with Trend Micro.

    "ESXi is widely used in enterprise settings for server virtualization," Trend Micro noted in a write-up this week. "It is therefore a popular target for ransomware attacks … Compromising ESXi servers has been a scheme used by some notorious cybercriminal groups because it is a means to swiftly spread the ransomware to many devices."

    Continue reading
  • Twitter founder Dorsey beats hasty retweet from the board
    We'll see you around the Block

    Twitter has officially entered the post-Dorsey age: its founder and two-time CEO's board term expired Wednesday, marking the first time the social media company hasn't had him around in some capacity.

    Jack Dorsey announced his resignation as Twitter chief exec in November 2021, and passed the baton to Parag Agrawal while remaining on the board. Now that board term has ended, and Dorsey has stepped down as expected. Agrawal has taken Dorsey's board seat; Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor has assumed the role of Twitter's board chair. 

    In his resignation announcement, Dorsey – who co-founded and is CEO of Block (formerly Square) – said having founders leading the companies they created can be severely limiting for an organization and can serve as a single point of failure. "I believe it's critical a company can stand on its own, free of its founder's influence or direction," Dorsey said. He didn't respond to a request for further comment today. 

    Continue reading
  • Snowflake stock drops as some top customers cut usage
    You might say its valuation is melting away

    IPO darling Snowflake's share price took a beating in an already bearish market for tech stocks after filing weaker than expected financial guidance amid a slowdown in orders from some of its largest customers.

    For its first quarter of fiscal 2023, ended April 30, Snowflake's revenue grew 85 percent year-on-year to $422.4 million. The company made an operating loss of $188.8 million, albeit down from $205.6 million a year ago.

    Although surpassing revenue expectations, the cloud-based data warehousing business saw its valuation tumble 16 percent in extended trading on Wednesday. Its stock price dived from $133 apiece to $117 in after-hours trading, and today is cruising back at $127. That stumble arrived amid a general tech stock sell-off some observers said was overdue.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022