By ICPC

The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) announced today that it has changed its rules to allow National Governments and companies that are key players in the submarine cable industry to be represented within its membership. The ICPC’s objective in making this change is to foster improved cooperation between Government and Industry, which is deemed essential to enhance the security of submarine cables.

Almost all transoceanic telecommunications are now carried by submarine cables and, following the disruptions to the internet caused by an earthquake in Taiwan/2006 and other events in Egypt/2008 and Sicily/2009, there is much greater awareness among National Governments, the financial sector and other influential groups that submarine cables are part of the World’s critical infrastructure.

The ICPC routinely conducts a review following such disruptions and a key factor that has emerged is that National Governments are often in the critical path for installation and remedial work. It is therefore anticipated that having these represented within the ICPC will facilitate improved education and awareness, strengthening of legislative protections and rights in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the creation of single points of contact. The latter is considered essential to help eliminate permitting delays and to facilitate provision of urgent assistance in the event that the security of a submarine cable is threatened by illegal action.

Subject to certain criteria, membership of the ICPC is now also available to submarine cable system manufacturers, cable ship operators and submarine cable route survey companies in addition to submarine cable owners and maintenance authorities. It is anticipated that broadening the ICPC’s membership in this manner will improve the sharing of technical expertise within the submarine cable industry.

About the ICPC:

The ICPC was formed in 1958 and its primary goal is to promote the safeguarding of submarine cables against man-made and natural hazards. It also provides a forum for the exchange of technical, legal and environmental information about submarine cables.

With members in over 50 countries responsible for almost 100% of international submarine telecommunications cables and a significant proportion of submarine power cables, the ICPC is the World’s premier submarine cable industry association.

More information about the ICPC is available at www.iscpc.org