By @SimonCocking

Describe the company – the elevator pitch …

Aqua Comms DAC, a carriers’ carrier and the owner and operator of the transatlantic cable America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) and the Irish Sea cable CeltixConnect-1, was established with a vision to build, acquire or merge with subsea fibre-optic cable networks to provide capacity networking solutions to carriers, global data centres, global media, and cloud and content providers.

How are you different?

The AEConnect system is designed to be the most secure transatlantic cable system in existence. On both the U.S. and European sides, the cable transverses the minimum length of shallow water along the Continental Shelf with 1.5 meters of burial in those shallow waters. The cable also avoids major fishing grounds and anchorage areas that are known to expose subsea cables to damage. Additional armoring and deeper burial were also obtained to further mitigate potential vulnerability.

Why will the company/product do well?

AEConnect is the first modern, high capacity transatlantic system with unique routing, landing directly in Ireland with access to all the major data centre hubs. The cable system offers the most secure route, avoiding shallow waters on the Continental shelf, and maximising protection from external aggression. AEConnect provides the highest availability due to full diversity on all terrestrial backhaul segments in the US, Ireland and the UK, and on Irish Sea crossings.

This world-class subsea cable system offers guaranteed SLAs on all network elements and optimised RTDs. Latency from New York-London, (Secaucus to Slough) is approximately 67.84ms.

AEConnect, a latest generation optical platform, is a coherent-optimized system with proven 8QAM capability between New York and Dublin, and currently available with multiple interfaces and standards catered for. The subsea cable network has a current upgrade capability to 16QAM. Recent trials have shown the cable to be capable of supporting newer and more efficient signal coding schemes, resulting in an almost double the available capacity over that originally delivered.

Where are you based and when was the company launched?

Aqua Comms was launched in 2011 and its main office is based in Dublin, Ireland.

What have been your biggest wins to date?

Aqua Comms was recently recognised by Capacity Magazine as the winner in the ‘Project of the Year – Subsea Networks’ category of the 2017 Global Carrier Awards. The company was acknowledged for its effort to bring route diversity to the colocation campus of NJFX (New Jersey Fiber Exchange), providing customers with access to a diverse and growing ecosystem of carriers and service providers with the ability to bypass congested Manhattan fibre routes.
Also, in 2017, Aqua Comms and Megaport (USA) Inc were joint winners of a Global Telecoms Business (GTB) award in the Innovative Infrastructure category. Aqua Comms and Megaport were recognised for their partnership whereby Megaport accesses Aqua Comms’ AEConnect system and enables elastic interconnection to its transatlantic subsea cable network. Enabling enterprise customers to access transatlantic capacity on AEConnect via Megaport’s global Software Defined Network, the innovative partnership is the first phase of a larger collaboration between Aqua Comms and Megaport that may include additional capacity and terrestrial landings.

Additionally, Aqua Comms received the 2016 Global Carrier Award for ‘Best Subsea Innovation’ given by Capacity Media. Aqua Comms was recognized for the innovation, vision and excellence demonstrated by its state-of-the-art, transatlantic fibre-optic cable system, AEConnect.

What type of people (market segment) are you trying to attract to your product?

Aqua Comms was established to build, acquire or merge with subsea fibre-optic cable networks to provide capacity networking solutions to carriers, global data centres, global media, and cloud and content providers, including Web-scale providers and Over-the-Top (OTT) companies that require exceptional reliability and performance. Operating a carriers’ carrier model allows us to function as an efficient and effective organization, delivering these specialist capabilities to the wider telecommunications sector.

What tips would you give to others looking to build their business?

My advice would be to focus on your core competencies, create and foster a team which is dedicated to delivering high-performance, reliable and dependable services to your chosen sector. Don’t follow hype or trend, your best advert is your performance – deliver, consistently and strive for constant improvement.

Tell us about your team?

At Aqua Comms, we are always striving to become better and improve our performance. Meeting our Service SLA is paramount to our success. Delivering against our promise means we continually review our people, skills, competencies, processes, security and operational systems, as well as the performance of the network and landing stations. Over the next few months, we will continue to invest in new projects to ensure optimum customer experience, improved availability and system augmentation, driving cohesive and best-in-class operations. In tandem, our Engineering and Operations teams are working with our suppliers to drive down incidents and plan expansions of the existing network. This will all contribute to our world-class operational management system, which is designed to assure every aspect of the service we offer.

What are your long-term plans for your product/company?

Aqua Comms is building CeltixConnect-2, North Wales Connect, and North Sea Connect to provide uniquely diverse, high capacity routes to the UK and Europe.
CeltixConnect-2 connects with the existing CeltixConnect-1 and the proposed North Wales Connect to form a fully diverse and reliable circuit between Dublin and Manchester. It will provide connectivity to New York and London through the AEConnect network, and incorporate a branching unit to facilitate connection to the Isle of Man.
North Wales Connect is a diverse resilient system to complement the existing CeltixConnect-1 in terms of reliability and diversity. The cable system’s 127 km route from Anglesey to Deeside will connect with the existing CeltixConnect-1 and the proposed North Wales Connect to form a fully diverse and reliable circuit between Dublin and Manchester.
North Sea Connect is the first modern, high capacity system crossing the North Sea from the North-East UK to mainland Europe. The cable system features unique routing, providing diversity from the UK into northern Europe and avoiding London. North Sea Connect will link with the AEConnect system directly into Europe using the existing CeltixConnect Irish Sea crossing as well as the new proposed CeltixConnect-2 northern Irish Sea crossing. It will also incorporate a branching unit to facilitate future connections to Germany or the Netherlands.

What are your favorite tech gadgets?

One of my favorite tech gadgets is the iPhone – it offers everything in the world, in the palm of your hand – revolutionizing your home and business life forever.

What tech gadgets do you wish you could use to help you?

The Signal jammer. We all need time out and I strive to get time with my family which is quality time. It is too easy to be working always, and time ‘un-connected’ is vital to recharge.

How do people get in touch with you?

To learn more about Aqua Comms and its new transatlantic subsea cable system visit www.AquaComms.com. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn  or email [email protected]


If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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