Blackpool Airport set for direct link with New York - but it's not quite what you think

An artist's impression of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone
An artist's impression of Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone
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An undersea fibre optic communications cable linking New York to Blackpool will give the resort faster transatlantic internet connections than London.

Business leaders hope the multi-million pound investment by technology specialist Aqua Comms will boost chances of attracting data companies to the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone.

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Aqua Comms has agreed to route the cable via the Enterprise Zone as part of the construction process linking New York with Dublin, across the Irish Sea to Blackpool, and then onwards to Newcastle before finally linking with Scandinavia.

Rob Green, head of enterprise zones for Blackpool Council, says in a report to councillors: "A new transatlantic optic fibre communications cable linking New York to Blackpool is being constructed by Aqua Comms and agreement has been reached to route this via the enterprise zone for onward connectivity to Newcastle and the Nordic countries.

"A local fast fibre network is being developed in association with this to serve the Airport Enterprise Zone and also link Hillhouse EZ in Wyre via the Blackpool tramway.

"Prescence of the new optic fibre link will provide fast communication links with timings of less than 64 milliseconds to transmit data from Blackpool Airport to New York, some 11 milliseconds faster than the best current connections to London and thus providing a competitive advantage.

"The new connection will open up the possibility of securing investment in the provision of data centre facilities at the EZ and of securing investment from data driven industries. "

Called the North Atlantic Loop, the cable is expected to launch by the end of this year.

Mr Green is due to give his report to a meeting of the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Economic Prosperity Board on Tuesday.

It was announced earlier this year that Blackpool Council has secured £2.7m government funding for fibre network infrastructure running along the length of the tramway line.

This will give businesses close to the Promenade faster digital access and put the resort in a strong position to benefit from future 5G investment.

Around 30,000 properties will benefit including the new conference centre at the Winter Gardens.