Aqua Comms has signed an agreement with Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) that will give the latter 25 percent of a fiber pair between New York, Dublin, and London.

The cable in question is Aqua Comms AEC-1. The system was ready for service in 2016, offering 100Gbps with 130 wavelengths and 13TB per fiber pair. The cable spans 5,490 km and has 60 AEC repeaters.

Aqua Comms trans atlantic cables
– Aqua Comms

ESnet is the high-performance network funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE)'s Office of Science and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The network is specifically built to support scientific research, and this lease agreement is ESnet's first trans-Atlantic spectrum acquisition.

ESnet connects the DOE's "data circulatory system" by connecting scientific researchers throughout the DOE's national laboratory system, supercomputing facilities, and other scientific instruments.

The agreement with Aqua Comms will last for 15 years, and give ESnet a dedicated 5Tbps data pipe on its AEC-1 subsea cable to accommodate data traffic from those collaborating with the DOE across the pond, including preparing for the high luminosity upgrade of the CERN Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.

“Scientific research has entered the exascale era, and researchers need to be able to rapidly, seamlessly, and reliably move vast quantities of data from instruments to high-performance computing facilities to their human collaborators all over the world — and back again,” said ESnet executive director Inder Monga. “ESnet is committed to building a robust, redundant network ready to serve the Department of Energy’s research ecosystem now and for the long-term future.”

Jim Fagan, CEO at Aqua Comms, added: “Subsea Spectrum offers the scalability and control of dark fiber at a fraction of the cost allowing customers to plan for their long-term network needs. By working with Aqua Comms, ESNet can be confident in our expertise and leading global subsea engineering services as we continue to demonstrate that we are at the forefront of the technology supporting the needs of our customers with high-bandwidth, efficient network services.”

Aqua Comms operates three transatlantic cables: AEC-1, AEC-2, and AEC-3, as well as CC-1 which connects Dublin to Anglesey in the UK, CC-2 which connects Dublin and Blackpool, and the North Sea Connect which runs from Newcastle in the UK to Blaabjerg, Denmark.

In April 2023, Zayo leased capacity on the AEC-2 cable that connects Manchester in the UK to New York.