Before the keynote speaker takes the stage, Richard Elliot, Chairman of the Program Committee, takes the stage to talk about the purpose of SubOptic. “The Heart of SubOptic is the presentation of papers,” says Elliott. He makes a point that the Keynote speakers aren't a marketing opportunity, but a chance to hear from real, notable individuals.

Next we have Fiona Beck, President of the SubOptic Executive Committee, standing to say a few words. “Our industry is more relevant to the economy than ever before,” Beck says. She makes the point that as a key part of the global infrastructure the industry has a responsibility to the world at large. She also expounds on the importance on the role SubOptic plays in the industry, as a volunteer organization that exists for the betterment of the industry as a whole. 700 attendees, 280 companies represented from 40 countries. Which is up from Yokohama, says Beck.

“Richard, you asked me to make this short and possibly funny?” asks the next speaker, Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, as he puts on a beret and holding up a baguette. He sadly informs the crowd that they will be stuck in France for at least two weeks due two at least three strikes going on. Luckily, he says, he already bought the standard strike security, so everything is covered. Very funny guy. He finishes by welcoming everyone to the event.