Plans laid for super fast sub-sea internet cable from New York to Blackpool

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Plans are to be lodged with the council this week for a scheme which will see Blackpool having faster trans-Atlantic internet than  London.

A sub sea internet cable is to be laid between New York and northern Europe which will make landfall in the UK at a “meet me point” in Blackpool near the Airport Enterprise Zone.

A map showing the route of the under sea internet cable

A map showing the route of the under sea internet cable

It will mean will the town will connect to New York in under 0.06 seconds, digitally from September if it gets the go-ahead.

And at the same time, mobile phone users’ internet will be boosted in another way, as it will be one of the first locations in the country to benefit from a multi-million pound investment in 5G technology.

The council has secured £2.7m of government funding to upgrade and activate fibre optic cables that run the length of the coast’s tramline, through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Funding agreement.

On the multi-million pound sub-sea optical cable, Leader of Blackpool Council, Coun Simon Blackburn said: “Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone is set to become one of the newest gateways on the North Atlantic Loop and is perfectly positioned to tap into some amazing opportunities in the digital, creative and technology markets, that up until now have not been available to us.

Council leader Simon Blackburn

Council leader Simon Blackburn

“The council is extremely excited by the competitive advantage and economic possibilities that the new subsea cable opens up and we are exploring all opportunities to maximise the ‘meet me point’ at the Enterprise Zone for the benefit of the local economy.”

Kate Shane, Head of Blackpool Cluster at Merlin Entertainments Group said: “This is a massive opportunity for the town. Blackpool is unique in lots of ways and there are many positive and exciting projects in the pipeline, but this new digital opportunity is a real game changer, placing Blackpool firmly on the map with a competitive edge over other locations in a fast-paced digital world.”

5G is fifth generation technology and the next step up for mobile phone and internet connections.

Coun Blackburn said: “We are delighted to have secured a Government award which allows us to activate the fibre optic infrastructure which is already in place along the whole length of the tramway from Starr Gate to Fleetwood and will connect into Hillhouse Technology Enterprise Zone in Thornton.

“This significant development will enable Blackpool over the next two years to unlock a state-of-the-art fibre network for the benefit of both residents and business as well as improving connectivity to public sector sites.

“The UK has less than four per cent of properties served with full fibre connectivity (300Mbit+) so Blackpool would be at the forefront of being able to provide superior digital technology.

“There are an estimated 30,000 properties within range of the fibre optic infrastructure.”

He said working through a fibre-sharing co-operative, internet service providers will be able to join the network to individual properties.

“Full fibre services from broadband co-operative members will be available from 2020 and local businesses will be able to register for DCMS Full Fibre Voucher Scheme to spend with broadband co-op members.”

Aqua Comms chief networks officer, Andy Hudson said: “When the opportunity came for Aqua Comms to be involved in another cable build in the North Atlantic, we jumped at it.

"We worked with partners Facebook, Google and Bulk Infrastructure, a data centre operator based in Norway to develop the system.

"We are building a new cable across the Irish Sea called CeltixConnect-2 that will run into Blackpool then to Newcastle and Denmark and will create a series of ring-based structures between North America and Northern Europe called the North Atlantic Loop, providing high level security, flexibility and reliability.”