Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Cork to become IP Switching centre

According to an announcement at the Cork Internet eXchange (CIX) and it@cork event at County Hall, Cork, it will become a global IP switching centre with fibre connectivity routing high speed Internet traffic to and from USA, UK, Europe and Asia.

The Minister for Data Protection Dara Murphy T.D. said that this announcement “had the potential to attract major global business opportunities for Cork, positively impacting jobs and providing Cork with the lowest latency to USA and Europe which would be a unique selling point over other international regions.”

Executives from Hibernia Networks Inc., Arctic Fibre Inc. and Ireland-France Subsea Cable Ltd. as well as Cork Internet eXchange (CIX) addressed the breakfast meeting held at County Hall. The ambitious plans to “break out” fibre connectivity in Cork from the US, mainland Europe and potentially Toyko-London fibre project were met with unanimous support from it@cork, Host in Ireland, Cork Chamber, Enterprise Ireland and more than 120 business attendees.

The Hibernia Networks “Express Project”, which will connect Cork and the South of Ireland directly to the US, has been progressing to schedule and the subsea cable will land in Cork in early June 2015. It will be terminated at the Cork Internet eXchange and go into active service in September 2015.

While this fibre connectivity gives Cork the lowest latency* to the US of any European country, there were even more positive developments for Ireland’s global connectivity.

Doug Cunningham, Chairman of Ireland France Subsea Cable discussed his intention to connect Ireland to mainland Europe, with a subsea fibre cable from Cork to France (Lannion). Currently all Irish internet traffic to Europe must cross the UK to reach the continent. The direct connection to Europe would enable higher speed connectivity, lower latency and enhanced resiliency for data traffic to and from Europe and Eastern Europe. Combined with the Hibernian Networks “Express” connection, the Ireland-France cable would mean that Cork would become a central global IP routing station, with USA and Europe. This major connectivity infrastructure will undoubtedly attract a number of data centres and further position the Cork region ideally for foreign direct investment.

“Today’s event was aptly entitled ‘Cork at a crossroads’,” said Jerry Sweeney of Cork Internet eXchange (CIX), the Region’s largest data centre and Internet eXchange. “Cork will be an intersection of some of the most significant data connectivity; the Region will have an enviable global connectivity network, which has the potential to provide massive return in terms of jobs, FDI and fibre broadband. Cork Internet eXchange is planning to peer with the New York International Internet Exchange (NYI-IX) via the Express Project fibre. Cork Internet eXchange will be the best commercial data centre in the world for companies wishing to host digital assets under EU jurisdiction but requiring low latency access to the North American market.”

Artic Fibre’s CEO Michael Cunningham shared his plans to deliver a Tokyo – London fibre cable, which would strategically link East and West with a high speed cable. Cork can potentially gain from this plan thanks to the Ireland-France subsea cable and Hibernia Networks points of intersection in Cork. Currently Artic Fibre are raising investment for the Toyko-London connectivity which it is expected to roll out between 2018 and 2020.

To close, Jerry Sweeney of CIX commented, “The reality that Cork will be able to connect with Tokyo, Seattle and London via the new superfast optical highway will enable Cork to develop its international communication hub and promote the Cork Internet eXchange as an independent centre for data exchange and develop Ireland as a European Gateway.

Ireland is re-entering the world of international communications. Once it was the gateway to the world in the telegraphic era, now with the development of these new international superfast submarine cables Ireland is again becoming the international gateway in the new high-speed optical communication era”.