Bankrupt telco cable used for transatlantic disaster recovery project

A fibre-optic cable linking North America and Ireland will be put to use as a disaster recovery and business continuity service.

A fibre-optic cable linking North America and Ireland will be put to use as a disaster recovery and business continuity service.

Hibernia Atlantic, a startup funded by Columbia Ventures, wants to persuade businesses to back up their data in a location far removed from their headquarters by offering a service that will allow companies to use a 155Mbps (bits per second) bandwidth connection across the Atlantic Ocean - known as an STM-1 - for $10,000 a month.

For companies that already have data centres on both sides of the Atlantic, Hibernia's fibre-optic cable will allow them to take a snapshot of their data at their New York location and send it to their Dublin or London data centres.

Hibernia demonstrated how a 1,000-user network could be replicated from Massachusetts to Ireland in about 14 minutes, claiming it was far faster and cheaper than any existing transatlantic option.

The company's cable was laid by optical fibre company 360networks, which filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Columbia Ventures bought the cable and four landing stations in Lynn, Massachusetts; Dublin; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Southport, England for $18m.

Since it has four separate landing points organised in a ring, Hibernia believes its network is safer than other direct links between New Jersey and England than most optical fibre companies laid across the Atlantic. If one cable failed, companies could still send data back and forth over the second cable.

Hibernia's network uses storage equipment and software from EMC, networking equipment from Nortel Networks and Computer Network Technology.

While the company intends to focus on data replication and data distribution services for companies in both North America and Ireland, it expects that the quick connection will spur demand for other transatlantic services, such as video conferencing.

Tom Krazit writes for IDG News Service

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