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SubOptic 2019 PREVIEW






attended my first SubOptic in 1993 in Versailles when my family and I were still living in the UK and I was working for BTM. In those days the conference was a much smaller affair and it felt like just about everybody knew everybody. I think about how Ted Breeze ended up most mornings eating breakfast in his hotel with the head of AT&T SSI and his wife. You could count the number of significant projects around the world on one or two hands and a number of them were accomplished by a couple of suppliers and installers working together because we just didn’t yet have the ca-


pacity to go it alone. The guy you were competing with yesterday was your subcontractor or even customer tomorrow. I think that’s where the saying started that you had to be nice to everybody, customers and competitors alike, because you just didn’t know who you were going to be working with in the future. In a lot of ways today is very similar to some 26 years ago – there are still some big guys doing some really big projects. All you have to do is look at the names – Google, Facebook, Microsoft – and you get the sense that much is happening in our industry. Sure the names have changed from AT&T or BT or whatever, but the complexity and interwovenness of our industry has never been more so than it is today.

But we are also seeing a bunch of new players coming into our market. We are seeing regions once never served who are trying to quench their insatiable appetites for bandwidth. We are seeing renewed industries like Oil & Gas or Academic/Science who are making significant strides in incorporating submarine fiber. We are also seeing those would-be system owners who in the past would never dare think fiber. I had the opportunity to recently visit anew the Arctic. This time, I traveled in February to Iqaluit for project meetings with a customer at a time of year when the average daily high is -5°F and the average amount of daylight is just 7 hours. Even in the far north there is a desire for submarine cable, which we have seen not only in North America, but in other ‘interesting’ places. On one day we took a brisk -42°F walk from our hotel down to the beachfront to see how the ice rafted during the winter. It’s probably fair to say that it is in general a less than hospitable region with lots of technical challenges and will require some incredibly innovative solutions in the near term from our industry. Challenges like this are why we have a SubOptic – a conference that not only supports the big guys of the day, but also the new submarine cable entrants - be they from other industries or non-traditional regions or even those requiring new, innovative solutions. Anybody can go to the Arctic in July… Looking forward to seeing and learning from all of you next month in NOLA. STF

Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. 21495 Ridgetop Circle, Suite 201 Sterling, Virginia 20166, USA Tel: [+1] 703.444.0845 Fax: [+1] 703.349.5562 ISSN No. 1948-3031 PRESIDENT & PUBLISHER:

Wayne Nielsen |


Kristian Nielsen |


Christopher Noyes |


Kieran Clark |


Stephen Nielsen |


Weswen Design |


Christopher Noyes, José Chesnoy, Kieran Clark, Kristian Nielsen, Stuart Barnes and Wayne Nielsen


Aislinn Klos, Andrew Lipman, Elaine Stafford, Jean-Marie Fontaine, Scott McMullen and Ulises Pin

NEXT ISSUE: MAY 2019 – Global Capacity Contributions are welcomed, and should be forwarded to: Submarine Telecoms Forum magazine is published bimonthly by Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc., and is an independent commercial publication, serving as a freely accessible forum for professionals in industries connected with submarine optical fiber technologies and techniques. Submarine Telecoms Forum may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the permission of the publishers. Liability: While every care is taken in preparation of this publication, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of the information herein, or any errors which may occur in advertising or editorial content, or any consequence arising from any errors or omissions, and the editor reserves the right to edit any advertising or editorial material submitted for publication. Copyright © 2019 Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc.

Wayne Nielsen Publisher




CONTEN TS features


APART AND TOGETHER By Andrew D. Lipman, Ulises R. Pin and Aislinn R. Klos









8-11 April 2019 New Orleans Marriott New Orleans, Louisiana, USA






departments EXORDIUM........................................................ 2 STF ANALYTICS REPORT..................................... 6 BACK REFLECTION........................................... 54 FROM THE PROGRAMME COMMITTEE............... 60

FROM THE CONFERENCE DIRECTOR.................. 64 SUBMARINE CABLE NEWS NOW....................... 66 ADVERTISER CORNER...................................... 68





o address the growing reporting and analysis needs of the submarine fiber industry, STF Analytics continues its Market Sector Report series – designed to provide the industry with the information it needs to make informed business decisions. The Submarine Telecoms Market Sector Report is a bi-monthly product covering a specific sector of the submarine fiber industry, coinciding with the theme of each issue of the SubTel Forum Magazine. The fourth edition of this report provides an in-depth look into the finance & legal aspect of the submarine fiber industry. STF Analytics collected and analyzed data derived from a variety of public, commercial and scientific sourc-



es to best analyze and project market conditions. While every care is taken in preparing this report, these are our best estimates based on information provided and discussed in this industry.

The way systems are being financed sustains a shift towards single owners. This trend was first observed in 2015 and has since continued to move in this direction.

The following Executive Summary provides an overview of the topics addressed in this month’s report.

Executive Summary

Since 1991, $41.8 billion has been invested in submarine fiber optic telecommunication cables — comprising more than 1.16 million route kilometers — annually averaging $1.5 billion worth of investment and 41,500 kilometers of deployed systems. Historically, consortia have been responsible for the bulk of new system investment. However, in recent years there has been a noticeable shift towards more private and Multilateral Development Bank (MDB)

investment. (Figure 1) The way systems are being financed sustains a shift towards single owners. This trend was first observed in 2015 and has since continued to move in this direction. Over the next several years, only 35 percent of systems will be owned by a consortium, with the remaining 65 percent having a single owner. While consortium ownership reduces the financial risk to any single owner should a cable system fail, single ownership provides potentially greater flexibility and speed to the cable development process. (Figure 2) With OTTs continuing to drive cable demand because of the need for more control over the development process and a desire for faster system installations to keep up with their bandwidth and routing requirements, this trend is expected to continue over the next several years. The true measure of a cable system’s viability – and the strongest indicator that a system will be completed – is whether it is Contract in Force (CIF). As of March 2019, the CIF rate for planned systems through 2021 is 49 percent and 63 percent for 2019 alone. With so many systems for the next 3 years already achieving the CIF milestone in the first quarter of 2019 this is an encouraging sign of industry health. (Figure 3) Legal and regulatory hurdles continue to be a point of concern for prospective cable owners. Political tensions between various world powers have complicated vendor relationships, the ability for carriers to operate abroad and increased concerns of spying or sabotage. Governments around the world are putting







Figure 1: Financing of Systems, 2014-2018





9 6 3 0





Figure 2: System Ownership Type, 2018-2021

increased restrictions on vendors for new builds and upgrades and pressuring local carriers to “rip and replace” equipment and software in existing infrastructure from no longer welcome vendors. (Bressie, 2019) Alongside new vendor requirements have come stronger cybersecurity standards and enhanced outage and

incident reporting requirements. The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) has created a Cable Security Working Group to address these concerns and push the industry to self-regulate before world governments do it for them. In addition, the ICPC has been granted consultative status with the United Nations – alMARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104


ANALYTICS critical infrastructure continue around lowing it to advocate for cable protection and regulation on an international the world in order to reduce risks from fishing and anchoring, improve stage. (International Cable Protection permitting processes, enhance route Committee, 2018) diversity and create better working In the United States, Team Telecom relationships with local governments. security and law enforcement reviews (Bressie, 2019) continue to be a huge burden to prospective cable owners. Team Telecom reviews currently take up between 85 and 90 percent of the total regulatory review Internationally, new initiatives like process – anywhere from 300 to over the ASEAN cable protection initiative 500 days. Acquisitions and mergers are equally challenging and beset by similar strive to develop regional guidelines time delays. As a significant majority of and educate local governments on submarine cables around the world land the importance of submarine cable or will land in the United States, this afprotection and maintenance. fects more than just United States based companies. However, some relief may be in site as the FCC is working to revise reporting requirements and the executive branch of the United States may act to streamline more of the Team Telecom review process. Internationally, new initiatives like the ASEAN cable protection initiative strive to develop regional guidelines and educate local governments on the importance of submarine cable protection Figure 3: CIF Rate of Planned Systems, 2019-2021 and maintenance. Efforts to classify submarine cables as

BY KIERAN CLARK We hope this report will prove to be a valuable resource to the submarine fiber industry at large. To purchase a full copy of this report, please click the link below. STF KIERAN CLARK is the Lead Analyst for STF Analytics, a division of Submarine Telecoms Forum, Inc. He originally joined SubTel Forum in 2013 as a Broadcast Technician to provide support for live event video streaming. He has 6+ years of live production experience and has worked alongside some of the premier organizations in video web streaming. In 2014, Kieran was promoted to Analyst and is currently responsible for the research and maintenance that supports the STF Analytics Submarine Cable Database. In 2016, he was promoted to Lead Analyst and put in charge of the newly created STF Analytics. His analysis is featured in almost the entire array of SubTel Forum publications.


Bressie, K. (2019). Global Regulatory Update. PTC ‘19. Honolulu, HI: Pacific Telecommunications Council. International Cable Protection Committee. (2018, May 17). Subsea Cable Community Gains Voice in the United Nations. Retrieved from International Cable Protection Committee: https://



OUT NOW! THE THIRD IN A NEW SERIES OF BI-MONTHLY REPORTS FROM STF ANALYTICS Submarine Telecoms Market Sector Report: Finance and Legal

Featuring exclusive data and analysis from STF Analytics – • Backed by industry-leading Submarine Cable Database • Overview of system financing and Contract in Force rates • In-depth look at the changing regulatory landscape • Signature analysis • Priced for every budget




ISO 9001:2015 certified designer and impl for commercial, governmen




lementer of submarine fiber cable systems ntal and oil & gas companies


MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104




Recent Changes in EU and US Regulations Impacting Submarine Cables BY ANDREW D. LIPMAN, ULISES R. PIN AND AISLINN R. KLOS


hen the first trans-Atlantic submarine cable was laid between Newfoundland and Ireland in 1858, the project used two ships, the USS Niagara and the HMS Agamemnon. This undertaking by a U.S. vessel and a British vessel represented something familiar to submarine cable developers today: international cooperation. It also occurred in conditions unfamiliar to modern practitioners, for there was not a telecommunications regulatory agency in sight. Indeed, the U.S. Federal Radio Commission would not be formed for another seventy or so years. Now, over a century and a half after that first cable bridged Europe and North America, international cooperation has become staggeringly byzantine due to intricate webs of laws developed to organize our modern network of subsea cables that handles 99% of international data traffic. Some of these regulations are singularly founded in the authority of lone states and others are the result of careful multilateral frameworks. Understanding all of them is critical to anyone operating a submarine cable – and that can be a daunting task. Lately, steps towards unification for regulations, particularly in the European Union (EU), give hope for simpler regulatory requirements for trans-Atlantic submarine cable



routes. Nevertheless, today’s politics influence investment in, and deployment of, cable networks. Certain countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and several EU members, are shifting towards economic nationalism, due to anxieties about terrorism, foreign policy, and, in some cases, promotion of the local economy. These shifts implicate submarine cables. Take, for instance, recent debate in the United States about extending the Jones Act to ships laying and repairing cables; that is, requiring such ships to be built in the United States and to have a majority of their crew be U.S. citizens. While cooler heads prevailed by explaining that this would compromise protection of critical submarine cable infrastructure, this is but one example of how regulation and the specter of regulation can haunt the seas. This article examines the northern trans-Atlantic regulatory environment by first addressing a point of major convergence, national security reviews, and then discussing areas where the United States and the EU are pulling away from one another, net neutrality and data privacy. Unsurprisingly, whether going in the same or different directions, in all cases these changes make the global regulatory space more and more complicated.


For both the United States and the EU, a marked rise in economic nationalism and protectionism has spurred increasingly complex national security review processes. For international cable owners and operators, the result is dreaded delay and uncertainty.


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates submarine cable landings in the United States. Operators of submarine cables must obtain an FCC license pursuant to the Submarine Cable Landing License Act of 1921 and Section 1.767 of the FCC’s Rules. In theory, the application process for a submarine cable license can take just 45 days from the date the application is put on public notice. In practice, however, the process takes far longer: as national security reviews drag on. Most subsea cable applications have some amount of foreign ownership or participation, and so the United States subjects cable landings to considerable scrutiny. One body responsible for review is “Team Telecom,” an ad hoc task force comprised of the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and Justice, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition to Team Telecom, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, known as CFIUS, may also review acquisitions of submarine cables and other U.S. telecommunications networks. While CFIUS is chaired by the Secretary of the Treasury, its membership includes eight other departments and offices, including the Departments of State, Commerce, and Energy, as well as observer agencies. With so many actors, when a national security review is required, the FCC rarely grants a landing license in fewer than six months and, under the current administration, review periods of over a year are not uncommon. Team Telecom has no statutory timeframes for review. In the normal course, Team Telecom conducts review of a new submarine cable system if (1) the system would connect the United States to a foreign point, or (2) the system would have aggregate direct or indirect foreign ownership of 10% or more – that said, Team Telecom has recently scrutinized even 100% American projects. In the review, Team Telecom asks a series of initial questions pertaining to issues such as equipment type, storage and security of network data, encryption

key usage, and entities with access to the applicant’s network and data. Where ownership, operation, or financing arrangements raise concerns, Team Telecom makes additional inquiries and may impose certain conditions for approval. These conditions often include letters of assurances or network security agreements. Frequently, there are limitations on equipment types used or requirements to establish a network operations center located in the United States and operated by screened U.S. citizens. Such agreements facilitate U.S. national security and law enforcement surveillance programs, such as those conducted by the National Security Agency. The agreements also aim to block foreign governments from gaining visibility into U.S. telecommunications networks. While outright denials of applications are the exception rather than the norm, the threat of a security review is real, especially for Chinese investors – and Middle Eastern and Russian investors also draw extra attention. Worried about technologies such as semiconductors, the United States has recently blocked certain foreign transactions on the basis of cybersecurity. In telecommunications, this means rejecting applications of Chinese carriers, such as China Mobile, and rejecting projects that use Chinese equipment. These actions reflect current concerns in the United States about increasingly global supply chains, emerging technologies, and sensitive data of U.S. citizens – all of which have complicated the security issues that Team Telecom and CFIUS handle. An end to the uncertainty and delay is a distant horizon. Although the FCC once proposed a 90-day shot clock for Team Telecom, that reform has moved glacially in Washington, D.C. Meanwhile, a recent law expanded the scope of CFIUS review to include matters currently only considered by Team Telecom, smaller minority investments, arrangements involving the contribution of intellectual property, or certain services with sensitive implications. The law also requires that the executive branch prepare regular reports on foreign direct investment made by Chinese entities and provides that CFIUS may consider whether a covered transaction involves a “country of special concern that has a demonstrated or declared strategic goal of acquiring a type of critical technology.” Thus, for the near term, U.S. security reviews will remain a significant hurdle for anyone working with submarine cables.

Team Telecom conducts review of a new submarine cable system if (1) the system would connect the United States to a foreign point, or (2) the system would have aggregate direct or indirect foreign ownership of 10% or more

MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104



Meanwhile, in Europe, countries such as Germany, Italy, and France, are increasingly requiring critical infrastructure national security filings for acquisitions of telecommunications network assets by non-EU nationals. Like the comparable U.S. CFIUS process, these reviews are exacerbated by nationalism and can block network acquisitions by foreign investors. Against that backdrop, late last year the EU reached a political agreement on a framework for screening foreign direct investment. This new framework allows Member States and the European Commission to exchange information and raise specific concerns. It also allows the European Commission to issue opinions in cases concerning several Member States, or when an investment could impact a project or program of interest to the whole EU. It does not, however, affect Member States’ existing review mechanisms, adoption of new ones, or freedom to remain without such reviews. Member States retain the final say on whether a specific operation should be allowed in their territory. The EU has also reached a political agreement on the proposed EU Cybersecurity Act, which aspires to prevent network and information security incidents; provide guidance on security of critical infrastructure across the EU; and create a framework of European Cybersecurity Certificates for products, processes, and services that will be valid throughout the EU. Although, again, the proposed measures still allow further national actions on security matters, the Cybersecurity Act gives some hope for more uniformity and predictability for telecommunications companies in terms of compliance with a cybersecurity framework and review process. Ultimately, as in the United States, additional coordinated and state-specific reviews will likely inject delay and uncertainty into transactions involving telecommunications networks and critical infrastructure, including submarine cables landing in EU member countries.


As the United States and Europe trend in the same direction on security issues, nevertheless they contrast starkly in other areas. Moreover, while the multiplicity of national security reviews on both sides of the Atlantic create delay, the places where U.S. and EU regimes pursue differing policy goals result in something arguably worse for submarine cable operators: in some instances, they create mutually exclusive regulatory regimes.


For years now, no discussion of U.S. telecommunications would be complete without mention of a certain area of deregulation. Thus, we arrive at net neutrality, the concept



that Internet service providers must treat all data the same, regardless of content. Despite adoption of net neutrality rules in multiple jurisdictions around the world -- including the EU— which prohibit blocking, throttling, or discrimination with respect to online content; the United States has taken a step back from that paradigm of open network access. When the FCC reversed the landmark Obama-era net neutrality policy, the decision was, in a word, controversial. The decision announced that, under the Trump Administration, the free market would rule. That was in December 2017. Over a year later, the ultimate impact of the reversal remains up for debate because of legislative battles in Congress and the states, as well as ongoing appeals in U.S. Courts. Continuing clashes over net neutrality in the United States could impact other regulatory frameworks, and developments that cause divergent treatment of Internet content delivery could affect demand for capacity on submarine cables. Inconsistencies between the U.S. and EU net neutrality schemes and effects on price structuring and other business decisions will largely be borne by last mile and retail Internet service providers, but the impact could trickle down to large content transport mechanisms like submarine cables. A laissez-faire capitalistic rule on one end of a network and a prohibition on content provision discrimination on the other could frustrate a trans-Atlantic cable operator’s ability to set consistent pricing rules and expectations.


Much like net neutrality, the EU-wide General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), is a hot topic these days. Chasing an ideal of harmonized data privacy requirements protecting residents’ personally identifiable information and “right to be forgotten,” the GDPR took effect in May 2018 and establishes a technology-neutral, uniform framework for legislation across the EU, replacing individual countries’ separate data protection laws. This framework eases burdens on entities offering services in multiple countries. The GDPR applies to organizations that collect and process data for their own purposes, called “controllers,” and to organizations that process data on behalf of others, called “processors.” When personal data is not irreversibly anonymized, companies may only collect such data for specified legitimate purposes. Processing must be limited to the data necessary for such purposes and may continue only for as long as necessary. The GDPR has additional rules for companies that collect “sensitive information,” such as information about an individual’s health, race, sexual orientation, religion, political beliefs, or trade union membership. These companies may need extra safeguards, such as encryption, to protect the data.

For entities domiciled in the EU, the GDPR applies to the processing of anyone’s personal data collected in the context of the activities of these organizations. Entities outside the EU are also subject to the GDPR when their data processing relates to the personal data of EU residents. Providers must assess whether they fall within the broad purview of the GDPR, even if their networks do not directly touch the EU, and they must understand the types of data that may be collected and must be protected in their roles as data controllers or providers. Telecommunications companies with capacity on international submarine cable routes must ensure the security, integrity, and confidentiality of personal data. They must also maintain detailed internal records of processing activities. Noncompliance can trigger fines of up to €20 million or 4% of a company’s global turnover, and consumers may bring civil litigation against entities for a breach of the law. Conflict between the cybersecurity and privacy frameworks of the United States and Europe is obvious. In the United States, the government has a national security interest in gaining visibility into networks, particularly those involving critical infrastructure with foreign ownership, and seeks access to information flowing through networks touching U.S. territories. Conversely, European regulators have declared long-arm jurisdiction to protect the individual liberties and fundamental privacy rights of their residents, particularly with respect to personal data. This puts submarine cable operators in the unenviable position of complying with incongruent regulatory requirements. For example, the recently-passed Cloud Act in the United States (which may provide U.S. law enforcement agencies access to data stored outside of the United States) is directly at odds with the GDPR. These compliance collisions increase the risk of litigation, and with increased litigation risk the cost of bandwidth could rise as organizations allocate additional resources to these issues.

owners and operators of submarine cables, and anyone providing content or services over those cables, must navigate. As the regulations, and, more importantly, the interactions between the regulations, grow in complexity, cable operators will have to rise to these new challenges in order to continue to support modern society. STF


AISLINN R. KLOS is an associate at Morgan Lewis, who represents clients in commercial litigation matters, working with our team to represent diverse clients in US state and federal courts and serve as a resource for commercial litigation across industries, jurisdictions, and areas of law. While in law school, Aislinn served on the Yale Journal of Law and Technology and the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism. She also worked in the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, a program of the Abrams Institute for Freedom of Expression, and was a Knight Law and Media Scholar. Additionally, Aislinn interned with the Center for Democracy and Technology.

For the history of international and intercontinental submarine cables, demand for more and more bandwidth has been a constant and in the near term shows no sign of abating. The present regulatory landscape, however, is one of change. Changes in national security reviews, data protection, and content delivery rules in the United States and EU are but a few examples of the legal labyrinth that

ANDREW D. LIPMAN is a Partner at Morgan Lewis, who practices in most aspects of communications law and related fields, including regulatory, transactional, litigation, legislative, and land use. Andy’s clients in the private and public sectors include those in the areas of local, long distance, and international telephone common carriage; Internet services and technologies; conventional and emerging wireless services; satellite services; broadcasting; competitive video services; telecommunications equipment manufacturing; and other high-technology applications. Additionally, he manages privatizations of telecommunications carriers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. To open the US local telephone market to competition, Andy has been involved in most new legal and regulatory policies at the Federal Communications Commission, at state public service commissions, in Congress, and before courts. He helped shape crucial provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and used similar approaches to promote the opening of foreign markets. He also obtained one of the first competitive local service and interconnection agreements in continental Europe and the first competitive fiber network application in Japan. ULISES R. PIN is a Partner at Morgan Lewis, who represents US and foreign communications and technology companies on corporate, financial, and regulatory matters. He also advises private equity firms, venture capital funds, and financial institutions on investments in the telecommunications, media, and technology (TMT) sectors. Ulises represents clients before the Federal Communications Commission and government agencies in Mexico, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. He has substantial experience in cross-border transactions. Ulises’s practice covers all sectors of the TMT market, including wireline, wireless and international communications, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), infrastructure projects (land and submarine networks), satellite services, and emerging technologies. He counsels on complex cross-border transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures; public offerings; joint ventures; and private and public equity investments. He also represents public and private companies in international corporate and finance transactions across industries, including telecommunications, technology, energy, retail, and real estate. Additionally, Ulises drafts and negotiates telecommunications and technology contracts on behalf of telecommunications operators, equipment manufacturers, and large telecommunications users.

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PTC’19 SUBMARINE CABLE WORKSHOP RECAP “We connect the internet!”



TC’s annual Submarine Cable Workshop in Honolulu is one of my favorite industry events- and surprisingly, it is not the unbeatable surroundings. Rather, it’s the energy, opportunity to exchange ideas with so many old friends and knowledgeable people, and for me (selfishly speaking), I often get to pick the theme for the panel discussion and panelists who participate. And if I’m lucky, it is something I am passionate about along with the other panelistswhich makes for an insightful and fun debate for everyone, including the audience. So many people make time for this on a Sunday morning in Honolulu, that those of us involved become vested in making sure it worthwhile; this year was no exception. The day may become one of my alltime favorites, along with others dating back years such as “naked networks” (now more appropriately named “open”), cable lifetime and recycle opportunities, ICPC initiatives with the UN on permitting the use of the ocean floor, or the recent all-women panel which focused on cable security. With over 200 attendees this year, the day started with the traditional enthusiastic networking- fueled by the optimism of today’s busy market. The workshop was full of insightful presentations and lively debates throughout the day: • all that is happening with new cable projects, many



opening new routes, announced around the globe on both traditional and new routes- EllaLink, B2BE, SxS, Curie and Dunant, all within the backdrop of many other large networks which no one would publicly discuss but many of us understand are rapidly developing; • today’s complex regulatory challenges faced by cable developers, owners, and suppliers, possibly exacerbated by global geopolitical rhetoric ; • new trends in undersea technology, architecture, ownership, and supply- most notably perhaps SDM which promises to inch cable capacity ahead despite Shannon’s impenetrable limit at the fiber level; • TeleGeography’s annual update – with insights on data center trends, pricing, and their view of the future, plus, • SubOptic’s view of critical challenges that our industry as a whole, face today- with a lot of discussion on the need to recruit new talent into the uniquely satisfying industry of bringing the world closer together by covering vast distances at the speed of light. Slides from the workshop are on PTC’s website at conference-proceedings.aspx?EventKey=PTC19PROG.

I’d like to first recap with the SubOptic panel. While this panel may not have offered the most profound, new insights amongst the day-long program, the issues they debated were perhaps the most important discussed amongst all others in the day-long program. What seemed to be on many panelists’ minds was whether we (as an industry) have adequately invested in our future as an industry. Clearly, given the fact that we build the backbone of the internet, much of our energy is focused externally on the future of one of the world’s vital necessities- communications. But the question was, what are we doing to make sure our industry is fully capable of continuing to fulfill this global responsibility 10 years from now? SubOptic, as it redefines its own charter and prepares for SubOptic 2019 this coming April in New Orleans, is working to become a key force in helping to mold this future in a productive and positive direction. Per usual, this debate immediately led directly to discussion of the aging of two of the industry’s most critical assets: (1) its undersea-cable maintenance fleet, and (2) its workforce. More on the latter later. Ships easily attract the most interest, as they’re amazing assets. (“Big boys, big toys.”.) Financing a new cable ship is not at all a small feat. Bruce Nielson-Wats from Global Marine reminded us all that a new cable ship costs about $75M. Today’s competitively-priced maintenance market leaves little margin for the ship operators to fund investment in new vessels. It continues to be a pressing issue without any easy answer. One could speculate that this conundrum will remain unsolved until cable operators’ accumulating cost of extended outage periods becomes so extreme (as a result of unavailable or less-capable, aged vessels), that maintenance fees are allowed to rise and give-way to margins that support a business-case for new vessels. But while that was the first industry challenge debated by the panelists, what got even more air-time and passion was the industry’s dire need to attract new, fresh, innovative talent. Quite understandably, no one questioned that our workforce is aging with a scarcity of millennials. What caught many people’s attention was a couple of new initiatives focused on addressing this problem. SubOptic, through the leadership of Valey Kamalov at Google, is planning a new, weeklong submarine-cable summer school program for graduate students. The hope is that this initiative will promulgate greater awareness of the exciting, fascinating career opportunities that many of us have enjoyed

for decades and attract new interest in joining the industry. XSite’s Amy Marks, is chairing a separate SubOptic working group focused on “diversity and inclusiveness”. It has a similar overarching mission- to expand our industry’s talent pool. Both Valey and Amy would welcome support by volunteers who might contribute to these initiatives. During the Q&A that followed the panel, Robert Richardson remarked that part of our industry’s problem is that the world knows little about undersea cable… reminding us all that there’s a common misunderstanding that the internet is satellite-based. He offered ‘We build the internet!’ as a tagline to help market the fact that the “cloud” really lies on the ocean floor. How SubOptic’s new leadership defines its mission, and whether being the industry’s champion is one element of that mission, remains to be seen. The SubOptic executive committee will be elected in the weeks ahead. Along with learning about recent undersea cable technology advancements, cable maintenance, investment, financing and regulations- the April conference will be the time to share ideas about the future of the industry and SubOptic’s role in that. Alice Shelton, who is driving a lot of the SubOptic 2019 program content, provided a preview of many of the roundtable topic areas that will be debated there. Check out The morning’s first panel was entitled “Challenging Industry Norms…Are Yesterday’s Truths Right For Tomorrow?”. We could not have had a better panel to debate the issues and my thanks goes to each of them: Mark Enright, Joerg Schwartz, Alice Shelton, Masahiro Soma, Tim Stuch, and Alasdair Wilkie. Several people remarked after the panel that they’d learned a lot, which with this team of experts, does not surprise me. I’m sure different people took away different learnings. Amongst them perhaps: • The panelists agreed that reliability always has been, and will remain, of paramount importance in the design of an undersea network. • With SDM, the lowest cost/bit cables no longer equate to the highest capacity per fiber pair cables. Higher fiber count cables, which efficiently optimize usage of the cable’s electrical power to operate the optical transmission in the linear regime, mean that the lowest cost/bit is achieved by increasing the number of fiber pairs and lowering the capacity per pair. • High-quality marine maintenance services, with minimal

What are we doing to make sure our industry is fully capable of continuing to fulfill this global responsibility 10 years from now?

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FEATURE permit, mobilization, transit and repair times, remain a priority for most network operators, as service outages during the repair interval remain very expensive. The growing global mesh, inclusive of diverse cables and WSS ROADMs, that increasingly offers restoration options does not diminish this imperative. • Open networks (undersea cables without SLTE provisioned by the System Supplier) are increasingly a norm, but their introduction has not been without challenges, as acceptance testing standards have not yet been generally/ collectively established, although progress on this is being made by a SubOptic working group led by Liz Rivera Hartling at Facebook. • The eventual establishment of these new standards will make understanding upgrade potential to ultimate design capacities by a variety of equipment-providers SLTE much more straightforward; but the R&D expense and anticipated resulting continued consolidation of ASIC providers who design and fabricate the fundamental core of an SLTE’s transmission capabilities suggests that over time, differentiation between SLTE providers may be more dependent on overarching feature capabilities than transmission performance. • While the biggest new builds in today’s market connect major data centers (which are often located along the traditionally higher-demand undersea cable routes such as the TransAtlantic and TransPacific), the regional undersea cable market is also thriving. Many larger cables are being built with branching units, perhaps stubbed, to allow these cables to not only connect the hubs, but also serve the regional markets along their path. • The Minimum Investment Unit for many cables these days is often measured in terms of number of fiber pair(s), rather than investment dollars equating to capacity/waves, and spectrum, as a higher-volume, more-flexible pseudo-capacity offering, has seemingly garnered more interest than practical acceptance so far. System and Upgrade suppliers have developed the equipment and tools to enable spectrum sales but they have not yet become a frequent transaction. Interestingly, an evolution to increased cable capacity having less to do with per fiber pair capacity and more to do with number of fiber pairs, may result in more need for fiber pair flexibility than spectrum flexibility. That could lead one to ponder the question whether WSS undersea ROADMs have the life-span of 40G transmis-



sion equipment. • Today’s comparatively high level of demand for new cables reflects the growing need for diverse routes, the desire by today’s owners to own and manage their individual fiber pairs, and more fundamentally- the continually increasing demand for capacity. The question of when this construction spurt may end was left hanging without a clear answer. Higher fiber count cables are contributing more to achieving more capacity per cable than has recently been achieved technology advancements which have yielded diminishing improvements in capacity per fiber pair. And while no supplier would quote how many fiber pairs per cable are foreseeable in the future, it does not appear that the number will increase dramatically beyond the 12fpr and 16fpr being discussed today. Thus, no one volunteered a definitive answer; rather, there seemed to be some agreement amongst panelists, that an end to today’s cable-construction “cycle” may be dependent upon some unforeseen technology breakthrough that we’ve not yet identified. Given the relatively-recent ability of technology improvement to continue to deliver more capacity per fiber pair than incrementally required by the market, this seems to be the only answerunless there’s a similar slow-down in capacity demand. • My hope for some interesting debate on who will invest in and own the global cable network in ten years was left as a dangling question without much speculation. I cannot help but reflect that like many things in our undersea cable industry, investment changes over time. Within my own years in the industry, we’ve moved from incumbent carriers; to a blend of upstart carriers, mobile operators and IPS; private entrepreneurs backed by financial institutions; and now the internet content providers. It clearly changes over time. When I asked the panel what they thought was next, ideas were few and far between. Clearly, that’s hard to predict.

Complementing all of this technology and market discussion, Kent Bressie shared his annual perspective on the state of cable regulatory affairs, with a combination of good-news and badnews updates. Security concerns are clearly making the approval of new projects more challenging and lengthier than ever; some cables have waited over 600 days to secure FCC approval in the US. While Kent did not have time to share statistics for other countries’ licensing timelines, cable developers and suppliers are quite aware that approval intervals in other jurisdictions can be equally challenging. On the good news side, Kent speculated that FCC capacity reporting rules could get simpler soon. But increases in deep-sea mining and global environmental regulations being coordinated by the International Seabed Authority are making route-planning and route-approval for new cables more complex. All that aside and ending with good news, Kent reported that various governments (with the support of ICPC, who is also working with the UN), are increasingly recognizing the importance of submarine cables and thus are putting greater effort into making their cable infrastructure resilient. Kent’s slides are also on the PTC website. TeleGeography’s workshop at the close of the day had three parts: data centers, pricing and a perspective how today’s cable ownership and usage situation compares to a decade ago and is likely to evolve in the future. John Hjembo went first with a focus on hubs vs edge centers and how each are sector is growing in a complementary way. Data Centers to Data Center communication is clearly the fundamental driver of today’s cable market and as these Edge Data Centers become more important (which he cautioned is dependent upon access), so will the cable networks that connect to them. Michael Bisaha provided TeleGeography’s traditional intriguing statistics on transport and IP transit pricing that reinforced our understanding of many traditional trends about the relationship of new cables, demand growth, and competition, but complemented those statistics with nuances of how this is different for various routes- and how some (especially the niche ones) have managed to withstand price pressures better than others. Alan Mauldin wrapped it up be commenting on how drivers of the cable market have changed (or not) over the last ten years, with the ICPs contributing heavily to today’s builds- focused heavily on the trans-Atlantic route but with investment surging on trans-Pacific and intra-Asian routes. He summed it up with caveats about future cable requirements including the capacity of high fiber count cables, continuity of demand CAGRs, and eventual retirement of the bubble-era networks. TeleGeography will be posting videos of their presentations on their website soon. That leads into the workshop’s opening, which is a good place to end this recap- a series of speakers summarized where new cables

are being built around the globe. Gil Santaliz provided perspective on the booming TransAtlantic market connecting to US east coast hubs. MAREA, Havfrue and Dunant, each of which have tremendous capacity, are just the recent, publicly-announced examples. Erick Contag provided a comprehensive update of all that’s happening in LATAM. Following on the heals of BRUSA, MONET, and SEABRAS-1 are Curie, Prat, and Astral on the west coast; MALBEC, ARBR, and TANNAT extending Brazil to Argentina. Breaking new ground are several new, southern-hemisphere cables between Africa and Brazil and continued plans to enhance Caribbean connectivity. EllaLink is in some ways the most unique, connecting Europe to South America. When the scheduled speaker for Europe/MidEast was unavailable at the last minute, Ian Clarke pinch-hit to provide an update on several short regional cables in Europe, plus forecast a possible SMW-6 on the horizon. And last, but far from not least with all of the activity in Asia, Andrew Hankins shared plans for even more new Pacific cables (PLCN, HKA, Jupiter, SJC2, BtoBE, JGA, and HKG), plus those connecting the Australasia region (Next, Indigo, Manatua, Coral Sea and ICN2) as that region continues to invest in making sure it is extraordinarily well connected to those of us not down under. No one publicly mentioned the rumor mill of cables around Africa and to India, much less more TransAtlantic and TransPacific cables. All of this means the system suppliers are getting busier all the time- and the limits of the existing factories and installation fleets may conceivably reach their limits, making it even more important to attract new talent to the industry. All of the topics above will be explored in more depth at SubOptic 2019. It is an event that many of us feel is the “must go” conference for networking, learning, sharing ideas and hopefully stimulating progress for our industry as a whole. I hope to see you all there! STF ELAINE STAFFORD is Managing Partner of DRG Undersea Consulting and has been leading the development, engineering, implementation and sales of undersea fiber-optic cable system projects worldwide since the early 1980s. Most recently, in her consulting role, Ms. Stafford has advised DRG clients with broad business support to investors (due-diligence analysis, market studies, feasibility studies, business plans) and project-specific work such as planning, engineering, procurement management and project management for cable networks across the globe. While at DRG, she’s provided support for the owners of numerous new networks, including most recently Havfrue, Marea, PLCN, AAE-1, PCCS, SEA-US, SEACOM and TE-North. Elaine has a unique blend of project, commercial and technical expertise. Prior to joining DRG, Ms. Stafford was an executive at Tyco Telecom, AT&T Submarine Systems and at AT&T Bell Laboratories with responsibilities spanning business development, global sales, project management, network engineering, product management, system design, system test, and the development of terminal equipment (hardware and software) for undersea networks. Ms. Stafford holds a BSEE from Union College and an MSEE from Stanford University. She has been recognized by SubOptic for her contributions to the industry.

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A Submarine Cable Protection A Tool To Estimate The Distance Of Trawl Fishing Gear From The Trawl Vessel BY SCOTT McMULLEN


he Oregon Fishermen’s Cable Committee, Inc. (OFCC) offers to those involved in submarine cable protection a tool to estimate the distance of trawl fishing gear from the trawl vessel. This could be useful in determining the likelihood of a trawl vessel’s gear being snagged on a cable. The OFCC and many of the OFCC member company’s network operations centers (NOCs) use this tool in training scenarios and if a trawler calls in to a cable company “hotline” to report that they are snagged in the vicinity of an OFCC submarine cable. The chief purpose of the calculator is to be able to determine if the vessel’s gear is sufficiently distant from the subsea cable to conclude the cable is not at risk. In a normal training scenario, or in an actual hotline call from a trawler, the NOC operator takes the name of the skipper, vessel and call-back information. They then ask the skipper to provide the Latitude/Longitude and water depth of the vessel to determine the trawl vessel’s proximity to the subsea cable. The vessel is then plotted on an electronic chart plotter with submarine cables overlaid. The NOC operator then follows with questions on the trawler’s direction of travel, weather conditions and the following questions about the fishing gear:



• Type of trawler (i.e. double rig shrimp trawl, midwater trawl or bottom trawl) • Length of main trawl wire (warps) out (from the vessel to the trawl doors) • Length of sweeps, also known as mudgear • Length of bridles (between the sweeps and the wings of the net) To use the calculator, NOC personnel use information provided by the vessel to fill input cells in the MS Excel© spreadsheet with information on the fishing gear and the water depth. The calculator, which is based on Pythagorean’s theorem, estimates the distance to the trawl doors and net by assuming a Right triangle exists between the vessel, the seafloor below the vessel and the seafloor at the trawl doors. A formula using this equation was taught to fishermen taking classes at the North Sea Centre in Hirtshals, Denmark in the 1980’s. In the Pythagorean equation, a² + b² = c², c represents the hypotenuse, while a and b represent the other two sides of the right triangle. When the length of any two sides are known, the length of the third side can be calculated.

Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award sponsored by

The International Cable Protection Committee Registration

To register, interested candidates should send an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a short biography to the Centre for International Law (“CIL”) at the National University of Singapore, which administers the competition on behalf of ICPC and the Rhodes Academy,

Paper Requirements

Papers should be suitable for publication in a scholarly international law journal and must consist of 7,500 – 10,000 words (excluding footnotes).


Papers must be sent to CIL at by 1 April 2019.

Selection Jury

Papers will be reviewed anonymously by a Jury consisting of two members designated by the Rhodes Academy and one by the ICPC. The Jury will announce any award by 1 May 2019.


For background information on submarine cables, see:

ABOUT THE AWARD Each year, the International Cable Protection Committee (“ICPC”) sponsors the Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award for a deserving paper on issues relating to submarine cables and their relationship with the law of the sea. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to) the protection of submarine cables from other human and natural risks (e.g., fishing, anchoring, seabed mining, and climate change), coastal state jurisdiction over submarine cables, environmental regulation of submarine cables (whether within or beyond national jurisdiction), submarine cable security, issues specific to submarine power cables, and the nature and sufficiency of existing treaties and national legislation pertaining to submarine cables. The candidate who produces the best paper will be awarded EITHER: •

Guaranteed admission and a full scholarship (covering the attendance fee, travel expenses, & shared hotel room) to the 2019 Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy; OR

For a Rhodes Academy Graduate from a prior year, a cash award of GBP 4,500.

ELIGIBILITY The Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award is open to:

UNEP-WCMC-ICPC Report: Submarine cables and the oceans: connecting the www.unepworld,

Any person aspiring to attend the Rhodes Academy (the candidate must meet the admissions requirements); OR

A Rhodes Academy Graduate from a prior year.

CIL’s Research Project on Submarine Cables,

Submarine Cables: the Handbook of Law and Policy, edited by D Burnett, R Beckman and T Davenport.

For more information: • The Rhodes Academy:



FEATURE The DTG Calculator estimates the In this case, the square root of [the trawl doors are .234 nm from the vessel length of the trawl warps squared, minus Typical practice for the OFCC and the net is estimated to be .300 nm the length of the depth squared] gives the when a skipper calls in and from the vessel. In this example, subapproximate horizontal distance the trawl doors are from the vessel. The calculaindicates that the vessel is hung tracting the trawler’s gear range distance tor further adds the lengths of the other up near a submarine cable is to from the distance the vessel is from the cable estimates the proximity of the net components of the gear system to give the plot the vessel location on an to cable. In this case we believe the net approximate distance to the net. Speelectronic navigation plotting is about .2 nm (370 m) from the cable. cial thanks are due to telecom industry veteran Bill Kositz who added increased program using nautical charts While in this example the calculation functionality and selectable units of meawhich have an overlay of all the indicates that it is not likely that the gear can physically reach the cable, we prosure to the calculator. OFCC submarine cables. ceed cautiously, knowing that the As-laid NOC personnel enter these input valposition of the cable may not be accurate, ues into the spread sheet and the calculathe boat-bottom-trawl door may not be a tor provides an estimate of the distance of perfect Right triangle, etc. Our typical next step is to ask the trawl doors and net from the vessel. the vessel to slowly and “lightly” recover about 25 fathTypical practice for the OFCC when a skipper calls oms (fms) of the excess scope of trawl warps, being carein and indicates that the vessel is hung up near a submaful not to pull hard on the trawl gear. Once the 25 fms is rine cable is to plot the vessel location on an electronic recovered, we ask the trawler for an updated position and navigation plotting program using nautical charts which depth from the vessel, then we enter the new warps out have an overlay of all the OFCC submarine cables. We then use the DTG calculator to estimate the range of gear number and current depth into the DTG Calculator. After plotting the vessel’s new position and the new range from the vessel, and display this as a range ring from the of the vessel’s net, we again see that the gear still does not vessel’s icon on the plotting program. Using information appear to be able to reach the cable if the cable is located provided by the skipper on his direction of travel and the at its As-laid position. The fisherman may then be asked ocean current, we can estimate the part of the range ring to recover a second 25 fm unit of trawl warps, and when in which we expect the gear to be astern of the vessel. We done, to provide a new position and depth. After plotting can visually determine if the range ring crosses the route the vessel’s newest position it is clear that the vessel is of the cable, or if it does not, we can measure, using the winching itself back toward the point where the gear is electronic plotter tools, the closest point the fishing gear snagged, but the range of the gear is consistently in the range ring is to the subsea cable route. For example, a fisherman calls a cable hotline number and reports that he same area, about .20 nm from the cable. The process can be repeated as long as the was towing North when his length of trawl warps out exvessel hung up near a cable. ceeds the water depth. In our He provides his location and experience, the gear usually we then plot his vessel’s posicomes free of the snag as the tion at .5 nm north of a cable. angle of the warps becomes Using the DTG Calculator as more vertical. If the gear a guide, you ask the captain doesn’t come free before the further information about his trawl warps length approachgear. You then input the ines the water depth, the cable formation as provided by the owner will need to make a fisherman, for example: decision on whether the cable owner believes the cable to be Amount of main wire 250 fm at risk and wants the fisherWater Depth 80 fm men to cut away his gear or Amount of Mudgear 50 fm continue to haul. Fortunately, Length of Bridles 100 ft. in most of the similar cases



the OFCC assisted with, the com. It has been used nugear, which is usually just merous times in exercises If the gear doesn’t come free before the trawl warps stuck in the mud, comes free and in actual emergency length approaches the water depth, the cable owner will fairly quickly and the subsea calls to help estimate the need to make a decision on whether the cable owner cable was not contacted. position of the fishing gear believes the cable to be at risk and wants the fishermen In the early years of the and the distance from the to cut away his gear or continue to haul. OFCC, there were 23 Hotline gear to a cable. This is one calls to NOCs associated with tool to be used with others OFCC cables. In 15 of those in assessing risk from a calls the gear was determined to be not likely snagged on fishing gear snags near submarine cables. It makes some the submarine cable, and in 8 cases the fisherman was reassumptions which may not be true in every case. This tool quested to jettison his fishing gear to protect a cable. The av- is most useful in determining when it is likely that the fisherage cost of replacement gear and the other costs associated ing gear cannot reach the cable, thus avoiding unnecessarily with the claims was $55,728 USD. The estimated savings to asking the trawler to sacrifice his trawl gear. STF cable owners in the 15 cases in which the fisherman was not SCOTT MCMULLEN is the Chairman of the Oregon Fishermen’s requested to cut away his gear is approximately $886,000. Cable Committee. He was instrumental in the formation of In one early case in which the NOC asked the fisherman this committee whose mission is to promote cable awareness, preservation of commercial fishing grounds, and safety in the to cutaway his gear, the NOC didn’t use the Distance to Pacific Coast trawl fleet. Until he began full time work for Trawl Gear Calculator. They had a written policy in place at the OFCC, Mr. McMullen was a lifelong fisherman and the time to ask a fisherman to jettison his gear if the vessel’s vessel owner. His experience includes salmon and tuna fishing along the entire US west coast, shrimp and bottom fish trawling on the position was within 1 nm of their cable. Following the Oregon, Washington and Northern California coasts, and snow and king crab incident, an analysis was done, and it was determined that at fishing in Alaskan waters. In his current role as Chairman of the OFCC, he the vessel’s location, with even all of his warps out, his gear manages the day to day operations of the OFCC including conducting training classes on handling cable hotline calls from fishermen. could not have been on snagged on their cable. Using this In 2018 the OFCC celebrated their 20th anniversary. The OFCC currently tool would have saved them $76,500 USD in replacement has ten-member companies representing 13 cables with approximately 1200 km of cable in the trawl fishing grounds. Since their inception, they have not gear and associated costs. If you would like the OFCC to had a single cable break or hit from trawl fishing gear. The OFCC is managed send you an EXCEL copy of our Distance to Trawl Gear by a non-profit Board of Directors comprised of commercial fishing industry Calculator free of charge, email your request to staff@ofcc. leaders and executives from member cable companies. MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104



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s Canada has a coastline which encompasses three oceans and one of the longest and busiest lake and river systems in the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence Seaway, all of which are crisscrossed by underwater telecommunication cables, accidents involving vessels and underwater cables are unfortunately a regular occurrence in Canada. Cable owner and operators must be aware not only of their right and obligations but also of what losses, expenses and costs can be recovered in the event of a casualty between an underwater cable and a vessel’s anchor, trawl or fishing net. In an article which appeared in last year’s SubTel Foreign Finance, Legal Edition, we discussed the liability of mariners for damage to underwater cables, the corresponding obligations of cable operators and the limits of liability. In this year’s article we explore the types the costs and expenses for repairs to underwater telecommunication cables and other losses that can be recovered from the offending party under Canadian Maritime Law.




Canadian Courts have imposed on vessel owners, particularly fishing vessels, commercial bulkers and container ships, a duty of care requiring them to act prudently in the operation of vessels, including an obligation to appropriately inform themselves of hazards to navigation by using up-to-date navigation charts, an obligation not to anchor or fish in or near areas where underwater cables are located and, where their equipment, be it an anchor or a fishing net, becomes caught in a telecommunication cable, to drop the equipment in order to save the cable. Permitting a ship to drag anchor so as to come into a collision or become entangled with someone else’s property, such as a cable, is considered prime facie evidence of negligence in the absence of a reasonable explanation or proof of exonerating circumstances. There is a corresponding obligation of the cable operators to take reasonable measures to avoid foreseeable accidents and, where such accidents occur, take reasonable

measures to minimize its damage. Precautions taken by a cable operator will depend on the foreseeability of damage occurring. The nature and frequency of incidents in the past will determine what precautions must be taken in the future. For example, in a 2011 Federal Court decision1, the trial judge considered whether the cable operator, Telus, had an obligation to bury a cable and noted that incidents involving the cable were rare. The evidence indicated that such cables were torn up once every 19.5 years and hence the obligations to mitigate the risk were low. However, foreseeability is an evolving measure of action. What may not have been foreseeable when the cable was first laid will become foreseeable over time, particularly if there is an increase in marine activity in the area, whether it be fishing or transit of cargo vessels. The same principle of foreseeability will find its way in the evaluation of recoverable damages suffered by the cable operator.


When incidents do occur, cable operators must be cognizant of the limits imposed on them by the Courts when considering whether its losses, costs and expenses can be claimed back from the ship operator having damaged the cable. The damages most often claimed by cable owners and operators will be made up of the cost of repairing and replacing the damaged cable and any business interruption losses that may result from loss of use of the cable. The repair costs will normally include the materials, labour and use of specialized contractors such as cable-laying vessels and crews, while the business interruption claim may be made where the cable operator faces claims from clients or loss of business opportunities when its services are suspended as a result of the break in the cable. The article will address each type of damage in turn.


Cable operators are often faced with the scarcity of reMARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104


FEATURE sources, particularly cable laying vessels and qualified crew that can carry out the repair in a timely manner. Under such circumstances, the onus remains on the cable operator to demonstrate that it could not seek multiple bids because of the lack of available resources. Foreseeability comes into play in this aspect as well. If the cable is an area where the accidents are relatively common, it may be incumbent on the cable operator to enter into a long-term agreement with a cable layer to dedicate resources to be available with minimum delays to intervene quickly in the event of a break of the cable. If the third party repairers are not available or if the cable operators have the manpower to carry out the repairs, cable operator may, if it so chooses, carry out its own repairs and claim the cost of labour from the offending vessel owner or operator. The labour costs include not only the wages paid but also, worker’s compensation contributions, employment insurance contributions, vacation pay and similar labour expenses2. Moreover, a reasonable mark-up for the supervision of the repair work will also be allowed. In recent cases, the reasonable mark-up for overhead has been limited to 10%3. One of the elements the Court will look at in determining both the recoverability of the overhead and the appropriate percentage is whether the evidence shows that monitoring and testing of the cable during the course of repair was necessary and if so, who carried it out.4 However, no element of profit can be recovered from the party at fault if the repairs are carried out directly by the cable operator5.

damaged. This is often referred to by the Courts as the “betterment” principle. On this point, Canadian Law differs from that of some other Commonwealth countries, particularly the United Kingdom. In Canada, the betterment principle holding that “the proper measure of damages is the reasonable cost of repair, less any enhancement, if the repaired article is more valuable than before the accident” will be applied6. A Court will hence ask itself - Does replacement of the damaged cable portions or new portions significantly extend the life of the cable as a whole? Does the replacement significantly enhance the value of the cable? If the new cable sections and other equipment does not significantly affect the expected life of the cable nor increase its value, it is much more likely that a Court would conclude that there is no betterment and no windfall to the cable owner and hence, the guilty party would be responsible for the full costs of the repairs.

If the new cable sections and other equipment does not significantly affect the expected life of the cable nor increase its value, it is much more likely that a Court would conclude that there is no betterment and no windfall to the cable owner and hence, the guilty party would be responsible for the full costs of the repairs.


Apart from labour, the materials used in the repairs can be claimed back from the offending vessel owner. The problem arises where the materials used to replace the cable are significantly newer than the portions being replaced. The net effect is that after replacement, the cable owner is left with a submarine cable which is considerably newer (at least for the portion that was replaced) than what was




Canadian Court will award to the cable operator, over and above the cost to repair the damaged cable, the business losses resulting directly from the inability to use the cable. For example, contracts that had to be cancelled or suspended or penalties paid to clients of the cable operator could be recovered as long as they are not too remote to the damage to the underwater cable. The Court will look (once again) at the foreseeability of the damages. Put differently, was it foreseeable to the vessel owner that if it sectioned the underwater cable, it would result in an interruption of service and costs, claims and penalties to the cable operator? If the answer is yes, such economic losses would be recoverable. The vessel owner could then raise the question of mitigation. Did the cable owner take all necessary precautions before the incident and all necessary steps after the incident to either avoid an interruption of service? For example, did the cable operator factor-in redundancy in the cable system, such as having a second cable to which the data can be transferred where the primary cable is

damaged? In terms of the repairs, did the cable operator keep replacement sections of the cable in store in the event of a breach? Failure to meet the industry standards and possibly higher standards where the foreseeability of damage is higher or the cable is in a remote area, difficult to access for repairs, the cable operator may see its claim for indirect economic losses rejected by a Canadian Court. Another complication in these types of damages arises where the cable owner has granted a right of use to other parties who have no ownership interest in the cable. This situation arose in the Peracomo decision. In that case, Telus was the owner of the underwater telecommunications cable but two other entities, namely Hydro Quebec, an electricity utility, and Bell Canada, a telephone and data service provider, had a right of use over the cable that was damaged by the fishing vessel. The claim of Bell for loss of use of the cable was considered a claim for “pure economic loss”, meaning that they have a claim for loss of revenue, profit or business which is unrelated to damage to the property which they own. Pure economic loss is often considered to be too remote to be recoverable under Canadian law. However, there are a number of exceptions to that rule. One such exception is a situation where there is a relational economic loss. A relational economic loss is one where there is a sufficiently close relationship between the parties and the property that was damaged for it to be considered a joint or common venture. Where there is a common venture between the owner of the property, in this case Telus, and the user of that property, Hydro Quebec and Bell Canada, the loss of the third party users will be recoverable7.


The cable operator can claim interest on all of it’s out of pocket costs. Where third party contractors are used to perform a part or all of the repairs, this would be normally be calculated from the time their invoices were paid. However, Courts will often award interest from the date of the incident in order to simplify matters. As one trial judge put it, after noting that not all the damage was suffered on the date of the incident: However, it would be mind-numbing to carry out a whole series of calculations on different amounts starting at slightly different dates8. The rate of interest, for these types of marine casualties in Canada, will often be based on the prime lending rate of one of the Canadian chartered banks. If no specific rate of interest is alleged or established, the default is the legal rate of interest of 5% per annum. In prior years, this was

considered a low level interest but considering the commercial rates of interest granted by lenders in the last ten years, we can foresee that defendants will argue that the legal rate of interest actually would put the cable owner in a better position than if it had to borrow the same amounts on the commercial market to pay for the repairs9. Finally, interest will be compounded yearly, unless a cable operator can justify why it should be awarded on a quarterly basis. Notwithstanding the improvements in ship safety and the resilience of telecommunication systems, the sheer number of surface-laid underwater cables in Canada, the importance of telecommunication networks and the ever increasing flow of marine traffic means that marine incidents leading to damages to underwater cables will continue to occur and the issues surrounding the recoverability of damages arising from these marine casualties will be before Canadian admiralty courts for years to come. STF JEAN-MARIE FONTAINE is a partner in our Montréal office who specializes in the field of Maritime law as well as non-marine insurance regulation and compliance and the National Leader of our Maritime Law Group. Jean-Marie acts for high-profile clients in both contentious and non-contentious transportation matters. Jean-Marie’s practice encompasses cargo claims, collisions, spills, disputes relating to shipbuilding and charter party contracts and the arrest of ships and cargos. He also has expertise in the drafting of logistics and warehousing agreements, charter party contracts, the purchase, sale and financing of ships, marine insurance policies and the importation and registration of vessels. He advises insurers, brokers and other intermediaries in the insurance market on regulatory and compliance issues and frequently represents clients before the Autorité des marchés financiers. Jean-Marie also acts as counsel representing clients in aviation and land transportation matters, and advises in matters involving a variety of compliance, regulatory and litigious issues, ranging from the transportation of dangerous goods to the carriage of passengers. He has appeared before the Superior Court of Québec, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal, the Québec Court of Appeal, as well as before the Supreme Court of Canada. He has also pleaded before the Canadian Transportation Agency.


1 Société TELUS Communications v Peracomo Inc., 2011 F.C. 494, 2012 FCA 1999, 2014 SCC 29 (« Peracomo ») at paras. 56 and 57 2 Peracomo at paras. 56 and 57 3 Graymar Equipment (2008) Inc. v Costco Pacific Shipping Ltd., 2018 FC 974 at para. 38 4 Graymar Equipment, supra at para. 38 5 Graymar Equipment, supra at para. 30 6 S.M. Waddams, The Law of Damages, Looseleaf edition (Toronto: Canada Law Book) at paras. 1.2730-1.2800 7 Peracomo, at para. 55. Also Martel Building v Canada, [2000] 2 SCR 860 8 Peracomo, at para. 46 9 Peracomo, paras. 44 to 48

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8-11 April 2019 New Orleans Marriott New Orleans, Louisiana, USA



s n a e l r O w Ne

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stablished in 1986, SubOptic is a non-profit association active in the international undersea communications industry and best known for the triennial conference it organizes, widely considered to be the global summit of the submarine cable community. SubOptic 2019 in New Orleans will be the tenth in the series, making it the longest running and most comprehensive conference in the world for this industry, and the only one organized by the industry itself. SubOptic 2016 in Dubai attracted nearly 700 attendees from 200 organizations representing over 75 nationalities. After thirty years of successful events, SubOptic set out in 2017 to improve and expand the services it provides and the value it brings to the subsea cable industry. In addition to staging the renowned SubOptic conferences, the Association is widening its scope and extending membership to all participants in the sector, with the aim of becoming the industry’s global trade association. As part of this renewal, we have teamed with a professional event management organization, STF Events, to manage all the logistics of SubOptic 2019. Nevertheless, SubOptic still maintains complete editorial and program development responsibility, to ensure the conference truly remains, “For the industry – by the industry”. Under the newly-adopted constitution, the Association’s purpose is to promote the interests of organizations and individuals involved in the planning, deployment and


operation of submarine cable systems, the technology used in such systems and good industry practices. The Association provides a forum for the discussion of ideas, the exchange of non-competitive information, the advancement of knowledge through research and training, and raising of awareness of issues relevant to the submarine telecommunications cable industry. This mandate builds on past accomplishments such as the guidelines for standard construction contracts, and the “Guide” series of tutorials on implementing cable systems, both freely available on our website. Until a new Executive Committee is elected at SubOptic 2019, a transitional EC with Yves Ruggeri as President is hard at work to pilot the conference preparations and to roll out new services and activities for Members. The EC is also watchful that the conference program reflects a high standard of professional and academic integrity, without favoring any organization or segment of the subsea community. We warmly invite all those active in the subsea cable community to become part of the revamped SubOptic, joining over 60 companies that have signed up since the launch of open membership in 2017. All members will be eligible to stand for the 10-person Executive Committee election in April 2019, the aim being to attract a variety of candidates representing each of the main subsea industry segments as well as the diversity of its people.

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WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU! NOTE FROM THE ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT The 2019 SubOptic conference and convention is eagerly awaited not only because it comes around only once every three years, but also because it is the premier event for the submarine cable industry. Hosted by Ciena with a programme designed under the chairmanship of Dr. Stuart Barnes, the 2019 edition in New Orleans will undoubtedly be the liveliest and most intellectually rewarding in its history. As submarine system-based networks play an ever more critical role in the global economy I look forward to your presence and contribution next April to the SubOptic 2019 theme “To the Beach and Beyond – Rethinking Global Networks”. —Yves Ruggeri, President, SubOptic Association


As the Age of Disruption marches forward, the Power of Connectivity is becoming ever more paramount. There is no abating of surging demand around the globe for content or the growing need for access in and to remote locations to help boost economies and improve the quality of lives. To meet this need, we are building more physical connections by wiring the world. More importantly, we are enabling more human connections in a way that wasn’t possible even just two decades ago. Our ability today to connect people, places and even “things” in less than a moment is changing the nature of opportunities and how quickly ideas go from merely a brainstorm to real-life implementation. Underneath it all is the vast and growing array of subsea cables, which are the foundation of this increasingly small world – building connections between people, continents, cultures, information, experiences, and ultimately, creating even greater possibilities for the future. —Gary Smith, CEO, Ciena


Conference Highlights ........................................................4 Program ................................................................................ 6 Roundtable Discussions ..................................................10 Exhibitors .............................................................................11 Sponsors .............................................................................12 Tours ....................................................................................13 Registration Information ..................................................14 Hotel and Travel Information ...........................................15

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Who should attend SubOptic?

All professionals in the submarine telecoms industry and related industries are invited to attend and participate in SubOptic 2019. Industry experts present sessions and topics chosen for the 2019 event with the intention of eliciting discussion and addressing industry-wide challenges.

CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS #1 TECHNICAL SUBSEA CONFERENCE SubOptic 2019 is the only dedicated Submarine Cable conference that embraces debate between peers as we listen to ~100 Oral papers and view 45 Posters written by the industry on subjects ranging from Dry Plant, Marine, Oil &Gas to more challenging evolutionary topics such as Global Citizenship. The 4 – day conference also includes Master Classes where industry companies are joining forces to provide educational training and insight – encouraging “new blood” into our exciting industry.

MARDI GRAS GALA ON 11 APRIL The Mardi Gras Gala dinner will be an evening to remember! This celebration begins with a toast for all attendees. From there a New Orleans style band will lead a parade with the official SubOptic floats through the historic French Quarter to one of the most famous restaurants in the city – Antoine’s Restaurant. This is a gathering you won’t want to miss!


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MEET THE KEYNOTE SPEAKERS GARY B. SMITH is President and CEO of Ciena, a global

network strategy and solutions company that delivers best-inbreed technology by driving openness and choice in the market to interconnect the lives of those around the world. Under Mr. Smith’s leadership, Ciena has grown from approximately $300 million in annual revenue to a $3 billion annual revenue run rate, with #1 or #2 market share globally in every category the company participates in, including packet-optical and data center interconnect. Ciena has over 1,300 customers across 60 countries, including 80% of the world’s largest service providers as well as cable operators, web-scale companies, governments and large enterprises. Prior to Ciena, Mr. Smith served as VP for Sales and Marketing at Intelsat and held senior global executive roles in a number of pioneering European communications companies, including Cray Communications Group, Tricom Communications PLC, and Case Communications Group. He serves as a Director and Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee of Commvault Corporation and is a Commissioner for the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; serves on the Wake Forest University Advisory Council for the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship; and, participates in initiatives with the Center for Corporate Innovation. As the longest standing CEO in the industry, Mr. Smith will highlight where we’ve been, how we’ve grown, and what’s next for the submarine space as data demands continue to increase, creating the need for greater access to bandwidth and speed beneath the sea and through data center interconnect.

AMBER CASE studies the interaction between humans and

computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds. Case spent two years as a fellow at Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society and a visiting researcher at the MIT Center for Civic Media. She is now a research fellow at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, California. Case is the author of Calm Technology, Design for the Next Generation of Devices. Her TED talk, “We are all cyborgs now,” has been viewed over a million times. Named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers, she’s been listed among Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 and featured among Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology. Case lives in Portland, Oregon. You can follow her on Twitter @ caseorganic and learn more at and Medium.

VINTON G. CERF is vice president and Chief Internet

Evangelist for Google. He contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as one of the “Fathers of the Internet,” Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. He has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University. Vint Cerf served as chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) from 2000-2007 and has been a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory since 1998. Cerf served as founding president of the Internet Society (ISOC) from 1992-1995. Cerf is a Foreign Member of the British Royal Society and Swedish Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of IEEE, ACM, and American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Engineering Consortium, the Computer History Museum, the British Computer Society, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, the Worshipful Company of Stationers and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has served as President of the Association for Computing Machinery, chairman of the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN) and completed a term as Chairman of the Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology for the US National Institute of Standards and Technology. President Obama appointed him to the National Science Board in 2012. Cerf is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations in connection with his work on the Internet, including the US Presidential Medal of Freedom, US National Medal of Technology, the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, the Prince of Asturias Award, the Tunisian National Medal of Science, the Japan Prize, the Charles Stark Draper award, the ACM Turing Award, the Franklin Medal, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and 29 honorary degrees. In December 1994, People magazine identified Cerf as one of that year’s “25 Most Intriguing People.”

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08:00 - 08:45 08:45 - 09:00 09:00 - 09:15 09:15 - 09:30 09:30 - 09:45 09:45 - 10:00 10:00 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 10:45 10:45 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:15 11:15 - 11:30 11:30 - 11:45 11:45 - 12:00 12:00 - 12:15 12:15 - 12:30 12:30 - 12:45 12:45 - 13:00 13:00 - 13:15 13:15 - 13:30 13:30 - 13:45 13:45 - 14:00


MASTERCLASS 1 MASTERCLASS 2 Principles of Offshore Oil Open Submarine Networks & Gas Submarine Telecoms LUNCH & LEARN Professional Opportunities / Diversity / Inclusion SubOptic Association Working Group Update MASTERCLASS 3 Advancements in Marine Installation & Maintenance

14:00 - 14:15 14:15 - 14:30 14:30 - 14:45 14:45 - 15:00 15:00 - 15:15 15:15 - 15:30 15:30 - 15:45 15:45 - 16:00 16:00 - 16:15 16:15 - 16:30 16:30 - 16:45 16:45 - 17:00 17:00 - 17:15 17:15 - 17:30 17:30 - 17:45 17:45 - 18:00 18:00 - 18:15 18:15 - 18:30 18:30 - 18:45 18:45 - 19:00 19:00 - 19:15 19:15 - 19:30 19:30 - 19:45

MASTERCLASS 4 Updates to Transmission Technology BREAK

MASTERCLASS 5 Legal & Regulatory Developments

MASTERCLASS 6 Wet Plant Design & Qualification




19:45 - 20:00


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PROGRAM // TUESDAY 08:00 - 08:45 08:45 - 09:00 09:00 - 09:15 09:15 - 09:30 09:30 - 09:45 09:45 - 10:00 10:00 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 10:45 10:45 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:15 11:15 - 11:30 11:30 - 11:45 11:45 - 12:00 12:00 - 12:15 12:15 - 12:30 12:30 - 12:45 12:45 - 13:00 13:00 - 13:15 13:15 - 13:30 13:30 - 13:45 13:45 - 14:00 14:00 - 14:15 14:15 - 14:30 14:30 - 14:45 14:45 - 15:00 15:00 - 15:15 15:15 - 15:30 15:30 - 15:45 15:45 - 16:00 16:00 - 16:15 16:15 - 16:30 16:30 - 16:45 16:45 - 17:00 17:00 - 17:15 17:15 - 17:30 17:30 - 17:45 17:45 - 18:00 18:00 - 18:15 18:15 - 18:30












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08:00 - 08:45 08:45 - 09:00 09:00 - 09:15 09:15 - 09:30 09:30 - 09:45 09:45 - 10:00 10:00 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 10:45 10:45 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:15 11:15 - 11:30 11:30 - 11:45



11:45 - 12:00 12:00 - 12:15 12:15 - 12:30 12:30 - 12:45 12:45 - 13:00 13:00 - 13:15 13:15 - 13:30 13:30 - 13:45 13:45 - 14:00 14:00 - 14:15 14:15 - 14:30





14:30 - 14:45 14:45 - 15:00 15:00 - 15:15 15:15 - 15:30 15:30 - 15:45 15:45 - 16:00 16:00 - 16:15





16:15 - 16:30 16:30 - 16:45 16:45 - 17:00


17:00 - 17:15 17:15 - 17:30 17:30 - 17:45 17:45 - 18:00 18:00 - 18:15 18:15 - 18:30 18:30 - 18:45 18:45 - 19:00 19:00 - 19:15 19:15 - 19:30 19:30 - 22:00




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PROGRAM // THURSDAY 08:00 - 08:45 08:45 - 09:00 09:00 - 09:15 09:15 - 09:30 09:30 - 09:45 09:45 - 10:00 10:00 - 10:15 10:15 - 10:30 10:30 - 10:45 10:45 - 11:00 11:00 - 11:15 11:15 - 11:30 11:30 - 11:45 11:45 - 12:00 12:00 - 12:15 12:15 - 12:30 12:30 - 12:45 12:45 - 13:00 13:00 - 13:15 13:15 - 13:30 13:30 - 13:45 13:45 - 14:00 14:00 - 14:15 14:15 - 14:30 14:30 - 14:45 14:45 - 15:00 15:00 - 15:15 15:15 - 15:30 15:30 - 15:45 15:45 - 16:00 16:00 - 16:15 16:15 - 16:30 16:30 - 16:45 16:45 - 17:00 17:00 - 17:15 17:15 - 17:30












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TABLE DISCUSSIONS New in 2019, SubOptic will feature open forum round table discussions where 8-10 individuals will participate in one of up to 40 parallel discussions centered on one of the following hot topic issues facing the industry: • Side stepping the Shannon Limit — Steve Grubb, Facebook

• The evolution of Cable Landing Stations — Joe Biggler, Vertiv Co

• C+L vs. SDM — Georg Mohs, SubCom

• The future of SubOptic: Make it Meaningful for the Membership — Jayne Stowell, Google

• Consortium models of the future — Rayan Alsaedi, STC & Faisal Al Samahi, Etisalat • Marine Fleet Obsolescence — Bruce Neilson-Watts, GMSL • Wet plant Monitoring and Supervision in the Open world — Lara Garrett, SubCom • Cable protection in extreme conditions — Gary Waterworth, ASN • Permitting hotspots and how to avoid them — Jamie Merrett, ASN • Thrive not Survive: Shaping an Inclusive & Diverse Industry — Amy Marks, XSite Modular

• Oil & Gas — Mike Constable, Huawei Marine Networks • Marine Maintenance models in mesh technology — David Moore, Verizon • New finance models — Mike Conradi, DLA Piper

• Submarine Power and data networks – living in harmony? — Eckhard Bruckschen, SubCableNews • How can the submarine cable industry be a better global citizen? — Nicole Starosielski, New York University & Antoine Lecroart, ASN

• SMART systems — Bruce Howe, University of Hawaii


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To purchase a booth or be placed on the waitlist contact +1 703.444.0845

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+1 PROGRAM REGISTER YOUR FAMILY AND BOOK TOURS Bring along your entire family or make it an adventure for two! Come a couple days early or extend your stay and experience everything New Orleans USA has to offer. SubOptic 2019 offers city tours for you and your family. In addition, the Plus One registration allows your companion to attend conference receptions and the Mardi Gras Gala. +1 Reception Pass grants access to the Opening Reception, Poster Reception and Mardi Gras Gala Dinner. Must accompany the purchase of a Full Registration pass. Tours may be purchased separately.


Journey into the mystical swamps and bayous of southern Louisiana on an airboat to explore the depths of Cajun country.


A behind-the-scenes look at the work and planning that goes into a carnival float. Explore the prop shop and assist the artists in the decorating.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND MANSIONS A tour of Jackson Square, a famous and historic neighborhood, begins at the magnificent St. Louis Cathedral, and the Pontalba apartments.


The best chefs are on hand to teach you the techniques and secrets that get to the soul of New Orleans cooking.

CRESCENT CITY COCKTAILS Experience the history behind some of New Orleans most famous cocktails and sample some of those libations in our behind the scenes walking adventure in the Big Easy. (Ages 21+)

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For the first time ever registration for SubOptic 2019 is available online. The online system provides you the convenience of registering your entire team, confirming badges and booking hotel reservations without the hassle of printing forms.





Full Registration

Academic/ Government Registration

REGULAR 16 Oct 18 thru 31 Jan 19




ONSITE After 1 Feb 19




Opening Reception

Poster Reception

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Mardi Gras Gala Dinner


ESSENTIAL INFORMATION SUBOPTIC 2019 HOTEL ACCOMMODATION You may reserve your hotel at the discounted conference rate when you register for SubOptic 2019 CONFERENCE HOTEL RATE ........ $264 New Orleans Marriott 555 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 USA

ABOUT THE NEW ORLEANS MARRIOTT Located on Canal Street at the edge of city’s French Quarter, the Marriott is within walking distance of famous attractions including the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Garden District and Harrah’s Casino. Rooms offer luxury accommodations and views of Canal Street and the French Quarter. In addition to Starbucks, dining options at the hotel provide American cuisine at

5Fifty5, Marriott’s signature restaurant, or 55 Fahrenheit for a perfectly poured glass of wine. Other dining options in the area include several oyster bars such as the Creole House Restaurant and Oyster Bar and Coterie Restaurant & Oyster Bar plus contemporary Louisiana Fare at Mr. B’s Bistro and updated creole cuisine at the historic Palace Café.

Travel Information VISA

Please make all necessary arrangements to arrive in New Orleans, USA for the SubOptic 2019 conference on 8 April, 2019. For more information on a US Visa please visit https://suboptic2019. com/travel-information/. If you require an invitation letter, please call +1 703.444.0845.


Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) is serviced by major airlines such as Alaska Air, American Airlines, British Airways, Condor, Delta, and Air Canada. The airport is located approximately 15 miles or 25 minutes from the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street.

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Since SubOptic 2010 in Yokohama, SubTel Forum has produced three Excellence in Industry Awards for every SubOptic conference. In conjunction and timed with each triennial SubOptic conference, the Excellence in Industry Awards were created to honor the exceptional contributions to the conference, reflecting the best and brightest stars in the submarine profession from across the globe. The long process managed by each SubOptic conference Papers Committee to select the conference presenters is an arduous task. The Papers Committee Vice Chairs supported by 80-100 reviewers, industry experts in their field, review and mark the abstracts submitted from across the globe in each topic area. Every abstract is marked by at least 10 reviewers ensuring a fair and consistent approach, since a place to present at a SubOptic conference is a coveted accolade. All accepted authors produce a paper based on their abstract and are invited to present their paper either as an oral presentation or as a poster presentation. The Papers Committee’s reviews of the abstracts and papers form the basis of a short list of candidates for the Excellence in Industry Awards, thus honoring individuals who have made an impact on the profession through their contribution of papers to the SubOptic conference program. SubTel Forum and SubOptic announce that they will



again present Excellence in Industry Awards to honorees during SubOptic 2019. Honorees receive a desktop award and wall certificate engraved with SubTel Forum and SubOptic logos. Presentation of the awards will take place during the SubOptic 2019 Closing Ceremony on 11 April 2019. Profiles of the award honorees will be published in in SubTel Forum Magazine post-SubOptic 2019 issue in May.


SubOptic 2019 Best Oral Presentation Award - Selected by SubOptic Programme Committee and presented to a paper presenter for innovative SubOptic oral paper presentation SubOptic 2019 Best Poster Presentation Award - Selected by SubOptic Programme Committee and presented to a poster presenter for innovative SubOptic poster paper presentation SubOptic 2019 Best Newcomer Award - Nominated and selected by SubOptic Programme Committee and presented to a new industry professional for innovative SubOptic oral or poster presentation

Subsea Optical Fiber Communications International Summer School


4 – 10 August 2019

Applications for the inaugural Subsea Optical Fiber Communications Summer School 2019 are due 30 March 2019. This new school is a partnership with Google and the OSA Foundation. To learn more or apply, check out

MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104


8-11 April 2019 | Â New Orleans Marriott, New Orleans, LA

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OUT NOW! THE FIRST IN A NEW SERIES OF BI-MONTHLY REPORTS FROM STF ANALYTICS Submarine Telecoms Market Sector Report: Offshore Oil & Gas Edition

Featuring exclusive data and analysis from STF Analytics – • 80+ Systems represented • Exclusive data collected direct from owners and suppliers • State of the market and trends • Signature analysis • Priced for every budget






Bringing together nearly 1,000 professionals from the submarine cable industry to network, share knowledge and ideas, learn from the top experts and exhibit at the premier event for the industry.

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The invention of silica optical fiber by Professor Kao [Reference 1], later Nobel Prize, was not immediately perceived as one of the most important technical breakthrough of the 20th century. But it revealed now to be the corner stone of our digital world. More than 2 Billion kilometers (km) of silica fibers have been deployed worldwide since the beginning of the 90s, whilst more than 300 Million km are sold every year since 2014 for all applications from long haul to Fiber to the home (FTTH). Despite “only” 10 Million km of submarine fibers have been deployed since the advent of optical submarine cables, one can stress that before any other application, the optical fiber became the enabling technology of our submarine cables and permitted them to become the skeleton of the internet. This short paper intend to recall below the surprising peregrinations of optical fibers up to our present submarine cables.




Silica was identified in years 1960’s as the most promising material for optical fibers due to its transparency, and its robustness. The first fibers were multimode in the first 800nm wavelength window (so-called 1st window), and moved soon to the second 1300nm window and became single mode that opened the possible transmission over many km [Figure 1]. The 1300nm window was at the same time a (relative) minimum of attenuation and close to the zero chromatic dispersion wavelength of single mode fibers. The simple to manufacture step index fiber was soon standardized by ITU-T as G652 fiber and called commonly “standard” fiber. It was soon recognized that in the same silica fiber, the loss could even be optimized by moving to the 1500nm third wavelength window. A loss below 0.2 dB per km was achieved very soon. Modern silica fibers of the G652 family (or derived such as G657) are achieving 0.19dB/km. Only ten years after the first silica glass fiber, Sumitomo patented in 1978 [Reference 2] and demonstrated soon the first Pure Silica Core Fiber (PSCF) that permitted to achieve the lowest loss fibers since. This gave birth to the G654 ITU standard. One can observe in Figure 2 that 0.155 dB/km was achieved in the Sumitomo laboratories early 1980 and is obtained in commercial fibers nowadays. These simple standard fiber (G652) and pure silica core (PSCF or G654) fibers had both a simple step index

profile [Figure 3]. When Sumitomo put on the market their pure silica fiber, they called it Z-fiber, a wink to express that this fiber was the end of the story, as the last letter of the alphabet!


These standard G652 fibers had a high chromatic dispersion approaching 20 ps/ that was initially

perceived as a difficult drawback since it spread spectrally the coded optical signal that finally vanish. Thus soon after G652, the Dispersion Shifted Fiber (DSF) having zero dispersion around 1500nm was invented by tuning the index profile with rings around the central step index. This G653 fiber was hardly deployed (except in Japan) and was a short life meteor in the history of fiber. The zero dispersion of DSF was MARCH 2019 | ISSUE 104


BACK REFLECTION simply catastrophic for optical transmission since it exploded the signal optical spectra by the non-linear effect so-called four wave mixing. The fiber industry invented immediately the Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted Fiber (N-Z DSF) that did not have exactly zero dispersion, standardized as G655 (since G654 was taken by PSCF in the meantime). They expected to have in hand the best in class. This fiber took more than 50% of the fiber worldwide market in 1996, one year after starting its commercial deployment [Figure 4 from Reference 3]. But the story was short and the balloon deflated rapidly since it was much more costly than standard fiber and most terrestrial applications could accommodate standard fiber (G652 or its derivatives) in the FTTH [Reference 3]. A very small production of G655 has remained for long haul application decreasing again with the advent of coherent communication (see below).


One should recall that since the first telecom satellite Intelsat 1 launched with success in 1965, the submarine cable business, still using the old stagnating coaxial technology, was under a death threat fearing to be replaced by the new born satellite technology [see Reference 4]. This is explaining why the more challenging submarine cable application was the early adopter of optical technologies, before terrestrial applications. By pioneering the use of 1300 nm single mode techniques at 280



Mbits/sec, an extensive research and development program was undertaken over several years, leading to the first repeatered submarine optical cable Antibes-Port Grimaud in 1984 |Reference 5], and a successful installation and start of operation of the first transatlantic optical cable TAT 8 at the end of 1987, quickly followed by TPC 3 (transpacific link) with the same technology. Then the 1500 nm third window became accessible, combining optimum attenuation of silica fibers (0.2 dB/km at 1500 nm), at a wavelength range compatible with the new born GaInAsP laser and detector technology. As a consequence, the TAT 9 and TPC 5 systems were installed and operated in late 1989 at 560 Mbit/s per fiber in this third window. Then optical amplification [Reference 6] by erbium fiber (EDFA) demonstrated in 1986 came as the

third cornerstone of modern submarine cables, replacing in a very elegant way electronic regeneration done before. It was a new miracle since the erbium amplification window matches the third attenuation minimum 1.5 Îźm optical window, permitting naturally wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to carry more than 100 wavelengths, and each carrying a different data stream on a single mode fiber. The 1500 nm window remains the reference wavelength band for long-haul optical communications. The decision was made in 1990 to deploy the erbium fiber optical amplified approach in undersea cables, in view of the very promising demonstrations, and to apply it for TAT12TAT13 deployed in 1996, as well as for TPC5 soon after. All cables installed since this time have used this EDFA technology. The wet plant of the amplified generation

of submarine cables evolved smoothly since this time, mainly through broadening of the amplifier gain and evolution of the fiber, During more than 10 years the fiber and more precisely the fiber chromatic dispersion mapping was the main topic for R&D teams improving the submarine cable capacity.


When EDFA are used in line, the optical signal is transmitted end to end and thus long haul transmission with EDFA and especially transoceanic submarine cable transmission put a quite strange constraint on chromatic dispersion: The cumulated dispersion end to end must be compensated to zero while it must be strictly non-zero locally at any point along the line and large enough to avoid the above mentioned four wave mixing. This has given birth to “chromatic dispersion fiber mapping” that is an association of fibers having almost zero cumulated chromatic dispersion. The dispersion management evolved in two main steps [Figure 5]: • For the first amplified systems, fiber maps were “Non dispersion shifted fibers”, in fact negative dispersion parent to G655, regularly compensated to zero with standard G652 or G654 fiber. • Then, soon after the invention by NTT in 1998 of the so called +D/D fiber mapping, each span was composed of very high dispersion fibers G654 (+D fiber) ending with a high dispersion negative compensating fiber (-D fiber). A drift of

dispersion was maintained along the line and needed at the end a quite boring and costly optical dispersion compensation per wavelength. During 10 years, the refinements were then very minor, mainly the smooth increase of the effective area of the PSCF G654 fiber. The scope changed drastically with the advent of the 4th revolution of optical systems: coherent technology that permitted not only to introduce 100Gbit/s transmission, but also to simplify the optical cable design.


With coherent technology, the chromatic dispersion is compensated in the terminal and the line can be optimized by a large local dispersion decreasing drastically the non-linear four wave mixing. Thus the fiber map can be simplified and use of a single type of high dispersion fiber, thus sometimes called +D fiber map that is in fact simply PSCF G654 fiber along the cable. The first design of a 100 Gbit/s +D submarine cable, optimized for 100Gbit/s coherent technology, was done in 2013 by Alcatel with AMX1, a cable for America Mobil linking USA and Brazil, supplying traffic to 7 countries in America. The highest capacity submarine cables have been designed since this pioneer case, based on this simple +D homogeneous fiber. More details on this topic can be found in the reference book [Reference 7]. One can see that after 25 years of complexification of

submarine fibers, the optimum systems return to the simplest early fibers!


When Sumitomo invented the PSCF in 1978 as a parent of the “standard” fiber, they called it “Z fiber” because they had the intuition that it was the best in class and last possible improvement in the fiber domain. Terrestrial and submarine transmission had since these last 40 years explored a variety of alternatives, but finally, the circle is closing, and amazingly the optimum submarine fiber map is simply PSCF G654 fiber. The cost optimum could possibly be obtained by using the plain old standard fiber G652 family. It is by far the most deployed fiber in the terrestrial network (with its G657 avatar), and could reasonably take also its share in future submarine cables as well. The author thank Pierre Sansonetti for very helpful discussions on this rich topic. STF


KC. Kao, GA. Hockham, Dielectric-fibre surface waveguides for optical frequencies, Proc IEE 1966;113(7):1151. S. Shiraishi, K. Fujiwara, and S. Kurosaki, “An optical transmission fiber containing fluorine,” USP 4,082,420 (1978) Lionel Provost, Pierre Sansonetti, Laurent Gasca, Alain Bertaina, Jean-Pierre Bonicel, REE N°1 (2015) Du Morse à l’Internet, R. Salvador, G. Fouchard, Y. Rolland, A.P. Leclerc, Edition Association des Amis des Câbles Sous Marins, 2006 (book) José Chesnoy, Antibes Port-Grimaud : a world first in optical fiber communication, SubTel Forum magazine-89, http:// Emmanuel Desurvire, Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers at AT&T Bell Labs: a Paced Odyssey SubTel Forum magazine-100, Undersea Fiber Communication Systems, Ed.2, José Chesnoy ed., Elsevier/Academic Press ISBN: 978-0-12-804269-4 (book)

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Intern PUB DATE:2015 December 2015 Internet and broadband services with:PUB DATE: December detailed explanation of detailed explanation of all technical aspects of undersea communications systems, with an detailed exp LIST PRICE: $195.00/ LIST PRICE: $195.00/ optical technology for 100Gbit/s channels orThis above emphasis onemphasis the•mostC emphasis on the•mostCoherent recent breakthroughs of optical submarine cable technologies. fully or £120.00/€140.00 £120.00/€140.00 updated new edition is updated new edition is theplant best resource demystifying enabling optical technologies, updated • ne W • Wet optical for networking and configurability FORMAT: Paperback FORMAT: Paperback operations equipment, operations, up to marine installations, and is an essential reference for those in contactequipment, equipment, • Provid• • Provides a full overview of the evolution of the field conveys the PAGES: 702PAGES: 702 with this field. with this field. with this fie strate strategic importance of large undersea projects with: AUDIENCE: AUDIENCE:

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Undersea Fiber Communication Systems, 2e EDITED BY JOSÉ CHESNOY

Independent Submarine Telecom Expert, former CTO of Alcatel-Luvent Submarine Networks With contributions of authors from key suppliers acting in the domain, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, NEC, TE-Subcom, Xtera, from consultant and operators such as Axiom, OSI, Orange, and from University and organization references such as TelecomParisTech and SubOptic, treating the field in a broad, thorough and un-biased approach.


Features new content on: • Ultra-long haul submarine transmission technologies for telecommunications • Alternative submarine cable applications such as scientific or oil and gas Addresses the development of high-speed networks for multiplying Internet and broadband services with: • Coherent optical technology for 100Gbit/s channels or above

• Wet plant optical networking and configurability Provides a full overview of the evolution of the field conveys the strategic importance of large undersea projects with: • Technical and organizational life cycle of a submarine network • Upgrades of amplified submarine cables by coherent technology

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UNPRECEDENTED GROWTH OR MAJOR CONCERNS Hear All Sides of the Argument from the Leaders in Our Industry at Suboptic 2019 BY STUART BARNES


hat a time to hold a dedicated Submarine Conference? SubOptic 2019 is being held at a confluence of huge opportunities and threats. On the plus side there is an unprecedented number of systems being installed, driven by the insatiable demand for Social Media, both from a transmission and storage perspective. We have seen massive leaps in technology in the three short years since the Dubai Conference in 2016. And there seems to be no stopping this seemingly irrepressible force! So, is all in the garden rosy? Apparently not. Firstly, the UN is trying to flex its muscles outside the traditional national limits. This could have major, major consequences to permitting and even repairs. Secondly, we’re at the point where we’re just finding that the supposedly infinite fibre bandwidth is not quite limitless, even with the cleverest technical stuff ! And finally, our major systems are under attack, both physically and as a conduit to cyber-attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), on an industrial and perhaps geopolitical scale.



It is for this very reason that we have an unprecedented number of papers and submissions this year reflecting the health and current vitality of our industry. SubOptic is the only Submarine Specific event whose foundations are technically based and covers the whole spectrum of topic

Our major systems are under attack, both physically and as a conduit to cyber-attacks, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), on an industrial and perhaps geopolitical scale. areas (from purely legal and commercial all the way via the highly technical to ship design and cable deployment). And this year is a bumper year. We have nearly 100 papers and 50 posters meeting our quality threshold, and these are complemented by Master Classes, Keynotes, Round Tables, all adding colour to the opportunities and risks we are confronting as an industry.

Stuart Barnes Programme Chair

We have reluctantly agreed as a Committee to organise the Papers Sessions into three parallel tracks due to this embarrassment of riches and against the best practice of two, established for Dubai. This of course will mean that it will be more difficult to see all the papers you may wish. Don’t despair though. We have developed a Conference App to help you navigate through your days at the event. Furthermore, we are planning to video each paper to help you see the presentations at your leisure subsequently. You will have access to the App when you register to start the planning process! The Paper Sessions are subdivided into 8 distinct topic areas, which have attractions and content suitable for anyone working in our great industry from accountant to geek, making it unique for its breadth and technical content. These are; Oil & Gas and Special Markets, Global Citizen, Commercial and Funding, Marine Advancements, Networks of the Future, Wet Technology, Dry Technology and finally Regulatory, Legal and Security.

• Oil and Gas has recently enjoyed a renaissance in recent years after some years “in the doldrums” as more imaginative applications come to the fore along with greater usage of offshore resources. Two dedicated Oil and Gas technical sessions will be held in the main conference presaged by a Masterclass on Day 1. • Global Citizen The SubOptic Association is transforming into a truly Global Institution reflecting the major changes from its ’Western Economy Centric’ origins. This is timely as the UN tries to muscle its way into OUR business. Along with a dedicated session on this subject there will be a “Must See” panel on the final day co-hosted with ICPC and debating both sides of the issue. • Commercial and Funding Yes, this is how diverse this Conference is!! In previous years there have been several notable outcomes that have benefitted our industry such as a generic contract. We look forward to more rabbits from Bernard Logan’s hat! • Marine There will be 3 dedicated sessions on Marine Advances, with 11 speakers addressing a range of fascinating topics such as cable protection, where following the massive improvements in reliability following new plough depth guidelines in 1998 (I know, I was there!) we still

seem to have flatlined at a hit level of circa 100 year! As the industry starts to really lay cable all over the world, including the Arctic we will hear from experts, who have been there and done it!

The Paper Sessions are subdivided into 8 distinct topic areas, which have attractions and content suitable for anyone working in our great industry from accountant to geek, making it unique for its breadth and technical content. • Dry Technology There have been staggering advances in technology in recent years as the dream of Coherent Detection changed to reality. The 10Gbit/s standard that limped to a modest 40Gbit/s with direct detection will shortly advance beyond 400Gbit/s. Claude Shannon’s limit looms. Is there life after 400Gbit/s? Hear from the experts, many who are giving papers! • Wet Technology Operators have been able to rely on 4X improvements every 3-4 years. Is this now a “Busted Flush”? or can Wet Technology tricks continue this trend? C+L repeaters, Space Division Multiplexing are amongst the technolo-

gies that will be covered in a number of lively sessions, a Masterclass and several linked Round Tables • Networks of the Future One of the Conference’s hottest topics with 4 dedicated sessions and featuring many of the most important speakers in our industry. In addition, we will hear for Vinton Cerf (one of the hottest speaker tickets and Father of the Internet) on the topic and he will address Networks of the Future in the context of future threats, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DOS) • Regulatory, Legal and Security Three sessions full of fresh topical issues have been put together pulling together a range of contemporary issues. These are symptomatic of the global changes in our industry, with subjects ranging from issues emanating from deploying systems in Polar Environments to Pipeline Crossings. And at this point it is worth pointing out our Round Tables and Working Group Sessions. The SubOptic Association is going through a major growth spurt as it adjusts to the new order (PTT’ to OTT’s). A genuinely global base of suppliers and vendors. With the realisation that it needs to change and have an immediate value to its membership it has already commenced two Working Groups on highly contemporary issues (One addressing Open JANIUARY 2019 | ISSUE 104




Cables led by Elizabeth Rivera Hartling and the other addressing Diversity and Inclusion led by Amy Marks). So why the link with Round Tables you may ask? Well Round Tables offer a great short-term experience to hear about specific topics. However, this is a fairly narrow concept if one thinks about it. The Programme Committee has selected a whole range of stimulating topics in the hope that providing sufficient interest is generated and there are people willing to continue the debate post Conference so that these may in turn develop into Association Working Groups. The event kicks off on Day 1 with updates on the two Working Group interleaved with Masterclasses. For the first time attendees will be able to earn Continuous Education Hours as well as getting up date with the following topics • The Principles of Oil and Gas Submarine Telecommunications (Presenter Greg Otto) • Open Submarine Networks (Presenters Brian Lavallee and Pascal Pecci) • Advancements in Marine Installation and Maintenance (Presenters Bruce Neilson Watts, Dr Paul Davison and Tor Saevik) • Updates to Transmission Technology (Presenters Tony Frisch, Masaaki Hirano and Dr Ronald Freund) • Legal and Regulatory Developments (Presenters Stuart Blythe and Andrew Lipman) • Wet Plant Design and Qualification (Presenters Kenichi Yoneyama, Dr Dmitriy Kovsh and Daishi Masuda) As per tradition we start most days with the traditional Keynote Speakers, and this year is no exception. We kick off with Gary Smith of Ciena, our Hosts, who has overseen the exception-



Alongside the major players, who are the backbone on the event, we are mindful that our industry is underpinned by an eco-system of small organisations. We will therefore be proof testing a new concept. For the first time we will host a Small Business exhibition on the final day. al growth of the Ciena brand. The next day we have Amber Case, a noted TED speaker and author, who will regale us with her insights into Cyber Space! And finally, we have the enormous privilege of being able to secure Vinton Cerf, who is widely acknowledged as the Father of the Internet. What better way to blow off the cobwebs from the previous night in NOLA! We have lined up two Panel Discussions in the main body of the conference to break up two of the days along with the exhibition and posters to allow attendees to decompress a little from the sheer weight of new stuff in the Papers programme. So, a change is as good as a rest! Ed McCormack will chair a lively panel of Industry Leaders and tease out the pros and cons of the new world order in our great industry. Also, with the aforementioned risks of stifling legislation from the UN, we have a second must see panel on the UNCLOS BBNJ (UN Convention on Law of The Sea Beyond areas of National Jurisdiction) initiative. This will be co-hosted by our good friends in ICPC and chaired by Keith Schofield. And finally, as far as content is concerned, we have the Exhibition, with a twist. Alongside the major players, who are the backbone on the event, we are mindful that our industry is underpinned by an eco-system of small organisations. We will therefore be proof testing a new concept. For the first time we will host a Small Business exhibition on the final day.

If that isn’t enough, the conference is being held in the uniquely historical and vibrant city of New Orleans. The spiritual home of Jazz and Creole Lifestyle. Our organisers STF have organised a magnificent partner programme both inside and outside the timeline for the main conference for attendees, partners and family to enjoy the city and its environs. So, you be the judge. These are exciting times for sure, with bags of opportunity. But there are issues lurking around the corner. We hope that our heady mix of technical submissions on all these issues will leave you better informed to prepare for the future and that you have a great experience both professionally and personally. STF STUART BARNES gained an Honours Degree and PhD from London University. He has been an engineer and manager with 40 years experience in telecommunications, of which 30 years has been in submarine systems. His career spans the last years of analogue technology through to the latest coherent optical systems. He has been actively involved with all 3 phases of ownership starting with PTT ’s, through Carriers Carrier through to today’s OTT era. Starting as a research engineer, he was privileged to be involved in the first regenerative optical systems in both cable and repeater design. Then as Technical Director of STC he led the development of ASN’s new repeater and PFE (both in use today) and first WDM SLTE. In subsequent years he has been was involved in both new SLTE developments with Azea Networks and repeater developments with Xtera Communications Inc. He has attended the majority of SubOptic events since the inception, both authoring and sponsoring many publications. He was Chair of the Papers Committee when SubOptic was held in San Francisco and was an active participant in Dubai, helping Elaine Stafford prepare the closing ceremony. He was Visiting Professor of Electrical Engineering at Southampton University and Advisor to the School of Photonics at Aston University.

OUT NOW! THE SECOND IN A NEW SERIES OF BI-MONTHLY REPORTS FROM STF ANALYTICS Submarine Telecoms Market Sector Report: Data Center & OTT Provider Edition

Featuring exclusive data and analysis from STF Analytics – • Exclusive data and insights from industry experts • State of the market and changing trends • Impact on cable system development • Signature Analysis • Priced for every budget






Chris Noyes Conference Director STF Events


ow, where was the time gone? It seems like yesterday that we started on the journey for SubOptic 2019 in New Orleans. It was the closing of SubOptic 2016 in Dubai when it was announced that the next SubOptic would be announced at PTC 2017. Since that time the city and venue were chosen with Ciena being the host. I have been talking about how great the city of New Orleans is and how the buzz for SubOptic 2019 has been building. We hear that the conference is being talked about around the industry, which certainly



looks true as the number and quality of registrations are rolling in; we are seeing some great numbers. Currently, there are over 150 different companies who will be represented in New Orleans at SubOptic 2019. New Orleans is a fantastic city filled with energy and excitement. The city’s vibe will contribute to making SubOptic 2019 a conference to remember. The SubOptic 2019 Program Committee has done an amazing job with have organized more than 120 papers being presented at this year’s conference. SubOptic 2019 is going to be a confer-

ence to remember, from the educational offering to the networking opportunities - this is a conference that anyone in the industry can’t afford to miss. On SubOptic Monday, things start with a SubOptic Members meeting and Open Cables Working Group, and later that morning, we will have the first two Master Classes of the day. Monday will also feature a working lunch panel by the Association’s Diversity Working Group, which is Sponsored by Xtera and Global Cloud Exchange. The afternoon is filled with an additional four Master Class-

es before the Association members reception, including early access to the Exhibit floor. Then at 6:00 pm we welcome everyone to the Exhibit floor for the Welcome Reception Sponsored by XSite Modular and Seaborn Networks. We kick off SubOptic Tuesday morning with the opening General Session, including a keynote speech by Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena, the Host Sponsor of SubOptic 2019. The day will be filled with seven oral presentation sessions, as well as the Leadership Forum. It will be capped off with the Poster Reception, which will be the registrants’ chance to talk with poster authors. I have to say that although Wednesday may be longest day of the conference, it will also be one of the most exciting. The morning will start with the Amber Case as the keynote speaker, who is the author of Calm Technology, Design for the Next Generation of Devices. Her past TED talk, “We are all cyborgs now,” has been viewed over a million times. She has been named one of National Geographic’s Emerging Explorers, she’s been listed among Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30, and she has been featured among Fast Company’s Most Influential Women in Technology. She was the co-founder and former CEO of Geoloqi, a location-based software company acquired by Esri in 2012. In 2008, Case founded CyborgCamp, an unconference on the future of humans and computers. She will be followed by the Industry Update by TeleGeography. The luncheon on SubOptic Wednesday will feature a speech by the Premier of Bermuda, the Hon. E David Burt, JP, MP. Wednesday afternoon will feature Roundtable

discussions and registrants can login in to the conference app beforehand and register for the round table topic of their choice. We are then going to kick up the excitement with a Mardi Gras reception in the lounge of the Marriott with light food and beverages featuring the SubOptic 2019 signature drink, “SharkBite,” which registrants can then take with them on a parade through the Vieux Carré. This is your chance to part of magic of New Orleans Mardi Gras. Everyone will then move to out of the lobby to join the SubOptic 2019 parade; make sure you pick up your beads! The parade will depart the Marriott and make its way to world-renowned, Antione’s Restaurant, for the evenings Mardi Gras Gala event. New Orleans is known worldwide for its jazz music and second-line street parades. What better way to arrive than by a New Orleans Second Line Marching Brass Band, complete with a Grand Marshal, from the Marriott through the French Quarter to Antoine’s. During the parade will be there will lively New Orleans-style brass band with a Grand Marshal playing well known tunes such as “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” and “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans.” The bands leads the way while your guests are tapping their feet and “second-lining” as the parade makes its way into your event. Antoine’s Restaurant has a 176-year-old legacy and is still owned and operated by fifth generation relatives of the original founder, Antoine Alciatore. The world-renowned French-Creole cuisine, impeccable service and unique atmosphere have combined to create an unmatched dining

experience in New Orleans since 1840. With over 14 different dining rooms the Mardi Gras Gala will utilize the entire restaurant, and everyone will have the chance to have their photo taken at this world-renowned restaurant during the evening. The night will include several themed rooms from which include a Voodoo room where Voodoo dolls and Gris Gris bags will be made, to a Tarot Card reading room with a tarot card reader. The night will be a celebration of SubOptic 2019 in proper New Orleans fashion. After a full day and an evening of networking and comradery, we have the closing day of SubOptic 2019, SubOptic Thursday may be the final day of the conference, but it is still packed with six excellent oral presentation sessions, a panel discussion lead by ICPC and a keynote speech by Vinton Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, who contributes to global policy development and continued spread of the Internet. Widely known as one of the ‘Fathers of the Internet,’ Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet, and has served in executive positions at MCI, the Corporation for National Research Initiatives and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and on the faculty of Stanford University. Following that, SubOptic 2019 will hold a Small Business Networking reception on the exhibit floor, featuring some of the industry’s small and vital businesses in our industry. The SubOptic 2019 conference in New Orleans will leave an indelible impression on the industry. See you there! STF




SubOptic Association Announces Diversity Fund WFN Strategies to Exhibit and Present at SubOptic 2019 SubTel Forum to Exhibit and Present at SubOptic 2019


WFN Strategies, SubTel Forum Host Successful Reception @ PTC ’19 Submarine Cable Almanac – Issue 29 Now Available!


ICPC Announces 2019 Plenary Call for Papers

OSA, Google to Collaborate on Subsea Fiber School


Tonga Fibre-optic Cable Outage Relieved by Satellite Tele Greenland Submarine Cable Fault North of Maniitsoq

Tele Greenland Finds Cable Break South of Sisimiut Tonga Telecommunications Could Be Down a Month Tonga Has Cable Connection to Outside World Restored SubCom Reliance Completes Repair of Tonga Cable Tele Greenland Repairs One Cable Break, Finds Another


Telstra Adds Transpacific Capacity to Cable Network

Amazon, Telxius Reach Agreement on Marea DE-CIX, Seaborn to Connect the Americas, Europe


Installation of Fiber Optic Austral Underway

Bangladesh Govt Decides for 3rd Submarine Cable Orange Boosts Link between French Guiana, America with Kanawa Cable Installation of Indigo Submarine Cable Complete New Submarine Cable from Iceland to Europe



NOW Submarine Cable Project Starts in Solomon Islands Sunshine Coast Starts Deployment of Submarine Cable Landing Station Google Selects Equinix for Curie Cable Landing Station NEC to Build Cable for Okinawa Telephone Company EITC to Lay Submarine Cable Between UAE and Pakistan Prysmian Awarded Eur 50 Mln Chile Cable Contract Vocus Group Proposes Timor-Leste Link to NWCS Cable Nunavik’s KRG Hopes to Begin Fiber Installation This Year KT Unit Wins SubCom Submarine Cable Project


XSite Modular Awarded PNG Cable Landing Station Contract

IPG Photonics to Acquire Padtec Submarine Networks Division Hawaiki, PacketFabric Enter Strategic Partnership Samoa Online School Shows Submarine Cable Benefits Nexans to Enhance Organization, Restructure EU Operations Telefónica to Sell Affiliates to America Movil Angola Cables Landing Station in Fortaleza Gains Tier III Certification Former CEO of Alaska Fiber-Optic Project Pleads Guilty WFN Strategies Passes Annual ISO 9001 Audit Seacom Acquires FibreCo for National Coverage Telia Carrier, Telxius Announce Capacity Agreement


ASN, Facebook Introduce Aluminum Conductor in Fiber Cable Telstra Sends Strong Signal with Submarine Cable Upgrade Huawei Marine Completes WACS Upgrade Globacom Upgrading Glo 1 to 100G Xtera, UCL Demonstrate Record 74.38 Tbit per Fiber


Featuring exclusive data and analysis from STF Analytics – • Backed by industry-leading Submarine Cable Database • State of the global market and changing trends • Overview of new & disruptive technology • Signature analysis • Priced for every budget





s we’re cruising through the last few weeks before we all get together for the biggest show of the year, SubOptic 2019, SubTel Forum is proud to announce that we are finally rolling out a handful of very cool, very useful new publications. At SubOptic 2019, SubTel Forum is quite proud to sponsor the Networking Lounge, centered conveniently in the exhibition hall for all attendees to use. Come relax, set up meetings, and play with some of the cool tools we’ll have on display. At the Lounge, SubTel will have our latest publication on display, the INTERACTIVE Submarine Cables of the World Online Map. This tool takes the best parts of two printed publications, the Cable Map and the Almanac, and puts them directly in your hands. The Interactive Map will be on display on a large format touch screen monitor for all attendees to play with. There will be SubTel staff on hand to answer any of your technical questions, operational ponderings, or simply items of pure curiosity with the development process. Again, all of the excellent publications produced by SubTel Forum are made available through the continued support of our sponsors, without which we wouldn’t be able to operate. These sponsors, along with the other advertisers throughout the year, comprise some of the best and brightest in the industry. From technology innovators to state-of-the-art installers and market-defining project implementers, the busi-


nesses advertising in SubTel Forum are at the top of their respective corners of the industry. Advertising in SubTel Forum not only features you amongst these fine brands but will place you in front every decision maker and thought leader in the submarine telecoms industry.

At SubOptic 2019, SubTel Forum is quite proud to sponsor the Networking Lounge, centered conveniently in the exhibition hall for all attendees to use. Come relax, set up meetings, and play with some of the cool tools we’ll have on display. With the beginning of each year, we start our publishing calendar anew and with that seek advertisers and new sponsors for the year. The benefits of advertising in SubTel Forum are not just simply placing your brand in front of the industry. Advertising buys you the right for your press releases and news about your organization to the front of the line in the STF Pressroom – a PR VIP treatment. The analysts in the STF Pressroom

Kristian Nielsen Vice President

scour the internet daily for press releases and news about the industry. If you’re reading this magazine, you’re likely already well familiar with the daily newsfeed, something that started as a newsletter some 17 years ago and has grown in to a full-blown news aggregation service with updates as often as hourly if the news day calls for it. By advertising in SubTel Forum, you place your company at the head of the line when our analysts are prioritizing what stories run and when – the SubTel Forum PRiority Queue. With that said, I implore you, while setting your budgets and marketing goals for 2019, consider advertising with SubTel Forum. Visibility, industry standing, panache, prioritized PR announcements, the benefits of being a sponsor of SubTel publications are without equal in our niche of the telecoms world. As always, you may find our latest 2019 Media Kit here: And should you have any questions, or desire a customized package or report, please feel free to reach out to me directly. STF Loyally yours,

Kristian Nielsen Vice President




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