TransAtlantic submarine transport cable provider Hibernia Atlantic, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Columbia Ventures Corporation, today announced it has been selected to deploy a new cable network for the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) for Northern Ireland and the Department Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) for the Republic of Ireland as part of Project Kelvin. In a press release Hibernia Atlantic said the proposed terrestrial fibre-optic network will connect 13 cities in Northern Ireland to Southern Ireland (via Dublin); Canada and the US via its TransAtlantic submarine cable system and to Europe. The company claims the new terrestrial network will be the first of this kind connecting Northern Ireland to Canada, the US, Europe and will offer complete diversity to reach Ireland directly from London.
Project Kelvin is a joint EUR30 million (USD41.3 million) initiative between DETI and DCENR and is partly funded through the EC INTERREG IVA programme (2007-2013) – a cross-border territorial cooperation programme for Northern Ireland, the Border Region and Western Scotland, designed to support strategic cross-border co-operation for a more prosperous and sustainable region. The new cable system will link Armagh, Ballymena, Belfast, Coleraine, Londonderry, Omagh, Portadown and Strabane to Europe and North America. In addition, the cable will also provide links to Letterkenny, Castleblayney, Dundalk, Drogheda and Monaghan. Once lit, Hibernia’s Irish network will carry bandwidth directly to North America, avoiding the common and congested routes around London and New York waterways. Hibernia intends to connect the new system to its existing network by installing a branching unit in its northern transAtlantic cable, providing two secure routes, one from Northern Ireland to Canada and the US and another from Northern Ireland into the UK. The submarine cable will also be linked to an international carrier hotel or telehouse facility in Coleraine, which will provide further access to other service providers and Hibernia Atlantic’s new network Points of Presence (PoPs).