Amitie Cable Project Makes Waves Off North Shore, Cape Ann
By Ethan Forman, Gloucester Times
February 15, 2023
The 459-foot cable layer Decisive could be seen Tuesday off Marblehead as it made its way off from Nahant Bay in Lynn toward Cape Ann.
The Decisive was on a voyage that will take it to the waters off Gloucester and Rockport as it lays the last leg of a subsea fiber optic information superhighway between the United States, the United Kingdom and France.
The consortium for the telecommunications cable is made up of several partners in addition to Meta (formerly the Facebook company). It’s called the Amitié Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Project, according to the project website and information provided by Meta.
The project involves the installation of subsea fiber optic cable system, made up of a 1.5-inch fiber optic cable (about the size of a garden hose) across the Atlantic linking the United States and Europe.
The cable will pass through Massachusetts state waters via underwater and underground ducts, and be connected to land at the Nahant Rotary in Lynn. Only a new underground utility duct will be present at the rotary, but otherwise the cable will not be visible.
The cable will cross the waters of Rockport, Gloucester, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Beverly, Salem, Marblehead, Swampscott and Lynn. The Decisive could be seen by those in Lynn and Nahant this past weekend when the cable was pulled ashore. The Decisive is expected to pass by Rockport and Gloucester by Thursday or Friday, according to Meta.
It’s expected the cable installation will be completed over the next few months with the project wrapping up this summer.
“The new system will increase telecommunications reliability and diversity between the continents, and increase data transmission capacity and speeds, helping to satisfy the growing demand for transmission capacity in Europe and the United States,” according to the project’s website.