€270m cable linked to US will make Ireland a data gateway, says Kenny
A transatlantic cable that can handle up to one-third of the world's phone calls will make the West of Ireland a key telecommunications and data gateway.
The laying of the cable in Mayo was described by Taoiseach Enda Kenny - one of Mayo's TDs - as the most important landing in Killala "since General Humbert came in 1798".
"This puts the region at the vanguard of technological development and it is directly in keeping with the Government's intention of keeping Ireland up with the digital changes that are happening around the world," he said.
The $300m (€270m) fibre- optic cable will provide world-class data transfer speeds across the Atlantic, with a latency speed of 53.8 milliseconds. It will support global data centres, cloud-based networks and content providers.
It will also have the capacity to cover the entire European and American traffic currently in existence, with the potential to double its capacity within a few years as required.
The subsea cable, known as AEConnect, will span 5,475km from Mayo to Long Island in New York.
The construction will be completed by December and it is expected to begin operations from the beginning of next year.
Mr Kenny, who boarded a boat at Killala harbour for a tour of the cable landing operation, said the cable had the potential to bring significant new investment to the region.
He added that it would allow many of the major companies already based in Ireland and who have already made very heavy investments to consider expanding that to further data content storage facilities throughout the country.
Aqua Comms chief financial officer, Martin Roche, said the company was delighted to bring the project to the West of Ireland and provide a direct sub-sea fibre-optic cable connection between the two countries.
He added: "This is the most advanced transatlantic cable system in the world and will provide unprecedented capacity and reliability."