Virginia Beach: The Next Chapter

Hubert Souisa discusses the growing importance of Virginia Beach landings as a means to connect directly to Ashburn data centers.By Hubert Souisa
July 24, 2018

Increasing the Atlantic’s Resiliency, Stability and Capacity

More than two years ago SemanticNet started working on the “Fibre Atlantic” concept – an open-access diverse fiber optic submarine cable system between Bordeaux, France and Virginia Beach. In our January 2016 article in SubTel Forum Magazine we described the current state of the Atlantic infrastructure. We concluded that the best strategy is to utilize three or four paths across the Atlantic in order to minimize the probability of a complete network outage. We proposed that in order to improve resilience, newly developed systems between Europe and the USA should consider an alternate path, such as between Virginia Beach and Bordeaux. There are various reasons to land a cable in Virginia Beach, but the main one is a more diverse route across the Atlantic and a direct interconnection between Europe and the Ashburn/Dulles datacenter hub.

Over the years I have written three articles. Two focused on the Atlantic infrastructure and one about Virginia Beach. It comes as no surprise this last article has caught some traction over the last 18 months or so. Virginia Beach is hot! It’s the “next big thing” in subsea world. So, its maybe a good time to review my previous article and see what has happened so far, and what’s in store for us!

A Review

In my 2016 article about Virginia Beach I made a few, maybe sometimes bold, claims. In the first place, the Bullseye of the American Internet is not New York city. It’s true, NYC is where most of the Atlantic cable systems come ashore, but this is due to historical idea’s and the tendency of old stakeholders to keep it with the tried and tested. Nevertheless, its well-known Virginia state is the home of one of the US’s large Internet hub, Ashburn, Virginia. More than 16 large datacenters and more than 60 datacenters in the state, it is the place to be.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 101 of the SubTel Forum magazine here on page 32.