Equinix, Aqua Comms Team on Transatlantic Fiber

Equinix is working with Aqua Comms to deploy a transatlantic fiber optic system, America Europe Connect (AEConnect).

Scheduled to be ready for service before the end of 2015, AEConnect, spanning more than 5,400 km across the Atlantic between Long Island, NY and the West Coast of Ireland with stubbed branching units for future landings, will provide high-capacity wholesale connectivity from New York to London and beyond, into greater Europe.

The move comes as explosive growth in mobile, content delivery, video streaming, tele-presence, social media, and cloud-based data traffic offers tremendous revenue opportunities for high-margin corporate and retail services such as Ethernet and MPLS. To remain competitive, network operators are expanding their infrastructures to meet demand for these new services—and are turning to colocation data centers that not only offer all the network-to-network connectivity of a telehouse, but also act as aggregation points for concentrations of customers in network-centric industries.

Equinix’s New York and London International Business Exchange (IBX) data center campuses serve as carrier-neutral network access points for AquaComms to connect its low-latency subsea cable route.

According to research by industry analyst firm TeleGeography, London (2) and New York (5) are in the top five global metros for peak international Internet traffic and the London to New York route is the second largest international Internet traffic route globally with multiple terabits of peak traffic. In its 2015 Global Bandwidth Research Service report, TeleGeography notes that private network bandwidth on the trans-Atlantic route eclipsed Internet bandwidth for the first time in history, rising to 13.9 Tbps and accounting for 56 percent of used bandwidth.

“The international bandwidth market is undergoing a transformation,” said Tim Stronge, vice president of research at TeleGeography. “The traditional dynamic by which carriers link broadband users to global networks is still a core part of the market, but on the largest routes, content companies have overtaken carriers as the biggest bandwidth consumers. The largest content providers have become major customers of long-haul capacity as they expand their own internal networks. Increasingly, these entities have capacity requirements that exceed those of the largest carriers.”

AquaComms’ AEConnect is one of the first subsea cables between New York City and London in nearly 15 years and was specifically designed to meet the high growth of bandwidth requirements of global data centers, cloud-based networks, financial services market participants and content providers. With more than 52 Tbps of available capacity, the 100G compliant system will utilize the latest optical technologies to provide the most advanced subsea system, coupled with a control plane based on a SDN platform to serve bandwidth-intensive applications.