Cork set to become global IP switching centre

Jerry Sweeney, Cork Internet eXchange, and Doug Cunningham, Ireland France Subsea Cable. (Image: CIX)

26 May 2015

The Cork Internet Exchange (CIX) is set to become global IP switching centre with fibre connectivity routing high speed Internet traffic to and from the USA, UK, Europe and Asia.

According to the Minister for Data Protection Dara Murphy TD, the development has the “potential to attract major global business opportunities for Cork, positively impacting jobs and providing Cork with the lowest latency to USA and Europe which would be a unique selling point over other international regions.”

The companies involved, Hibernia Networks Inc, Arctic Fibre Inc and Ireland-France Subsea Cable Ltd joined CIX to make the announcement in Cork, detailing plans to “break out” fibre connectivity in Cork from the US, mainland Europe and potentially Toyko-London fibre project.

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

It is expected that this latest connectivity will give Cork the lowest latency connection to the US of any European country.

Plans to connect Ireland to mainland Europe, with a subsea fibre cable from Cork to France (Lannion) were also discussed by Doug Cunningham, chairman, Ireland France Subsea Cable. Currently all Irish internet traffic to Europe must cross the UK before connecting to the continent. A direct connection to Europe would enable higher speed connectivity, lower latency and enhanced resilience for data traffic to and from Europe and Eastern Europe. Combined with the Hibernian Networks Express connection, the Ireland-France cable would allow Cork to become a central global IP routing station, with USA and Europe. It is expected that such connectivity centred in Cork will attract data centre placement and foreign direct investment.

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

Plans for a Tokyo-London fibre cable were also outlined by Michael Cunningham, CEO, Artic Fibre, which would strategically link East and West with a high speed cable. It was stated that Cork could potentially gain from the plan due to the Ireland-France subsea cable and Hibernia Networks points of intersection in Cork. Artic Fibre is currently raising investment for the Toyko-London connectivity which it is expected to roll out between 2018 and 2020.




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