Aqua Comms was established with the vision to build, acquire or merge with Subsea fibre-optic cable networks to provide capacity networking solutions to customers that require exceptional reliability and performance. We are a carriers’ carrier. There are lots of companies that do wholesale and lots of carriers’ carriers. The difference with Aqua Comms is that we are only a carriers’ carrier. We do not service directly the end customers in any geographic location. We don’t sell to enterprises, we don’t sell to consumers, we don’t sell to any end-users. We simply provide capacity for the companies that use telecoms as part of their businesses – ISPs, major content providers and carriers. We have a team of senior people with twenty to thirty years of experience within this industry. We also have a series of outsourced relationships that allow us to manage these large submarine assets, with an employee base of less than twenty.
Since the company was founded in 2014, Aqua Comms has established a reputation for excellence in the field of subsea cabling. Aqua Comms DAC is an Irish Carriers’ Carrier which specialises in the building and operating of submarine cable systems. We offer a complete service that includes the planning, implementation and supply of fibre pairs, spectrum and capacity services to the global media, content and carrier markets.
Aqua Comms is the owner and operator of AEC-1 and CC-1 and continues to build on its vision of efficient submarine infrastructure ownership with membership in the Havfrue consortium, and the development of CC-2 and North Sea Connect, bridging the Northern Atlantic between North America and Northern Europe. All products are supported by industry-leading Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and we pride ourselves in our flexibility, security and reliability. We have a dedicated team who can adapt to your needs. Aqua Comms’ networks are the most-advanced subsea cable systems connecting Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. to Europe.
Aqua Comms began a few years ago with a private investor in a transatlantic cable initiative previously called Emerald Networks, while also acquiring Sea Fibre Networks, an Irish cable company. Sea Fibre Networks built an undersea cable in 2012, called CC-1 that links Dublin to Holyhead in Wales. It is the shortest, most secure crossing of the Irish Sea. This was during a period of high growth in the Irish economy, and the private investor, Aqua Ventures International, combined CC-1 with a new transatlantic cable that was the result of the Emerald project, called AEC-1.
Running from Shirley, Long Island, to Killala, Co. Mayo, in the far western reaches of Ireland, AEC-1 was designed to have the shortest passage through shallow water in the U.S. and then land in western Ireland with a very short run along the continental shelf before it goes into Killala. It has dual diverse backhauls to Dublin to reach the Irish Sea and dual diverse backhauls across the U.K. to London.
At the turn of the century, there was a huge drive to build new transatlantic cables. The costs for building new cables jumped due to the demand. To build a transatlantic cable back then cost two or three times what it costs today. Then the market collapsed in 2002. With a huge oversupply of capacity in the Atlantic, a great number of these cables went into bankruptcy, putting an end to new investments in cable systems.
The oversupply, however, is coming to an end. Legacy cable systems typically have a 25-year lifespan and roughly a 15-year economic life. The economic life has been extended to a degree through upgrades by the equipment vendors, but the cost of running these cables is roughly the same as running a new cable. However, these older systems can carry approximately a tenth of the capacity of new cables – 4-5 Tbps per fibre pair when compared to 20-40 Tbps per fibre pair today. That’s six to eight times the capacity for the same operating cost.
When the opportunity came recently for Aqua Comms to be involved in another cable build in the North Atlantic, we jumped at it. We worked with consortium partners Facebook, Google and Bulk Infrastructure, a data center operator based in Norway, to develop the HAVFRUE cable system. HAVFRUE the Danish word for “mermaid.” Aqua Comms is the operator of this new high-speed cable and the landing party in New Jersey, Ireland, and Denmark. We call a portion of it – the fiber pairs that we own –AEC-2. We’re also building a brand-new cable across the Irish Sea called CC-2 and a cable across the North Sea running from Newcastle, in the U.K., to Denmark. This cable is called North Sea Connect. Between them, these cables will create a series of ring-based structures between North America and Northern Europe that we call the ‘’North Atlantic Loop.’’