Virginia Beach – Poised To Be The Host Of Large-Scale Subsea Activity
By Greg Twitt
May 21, 2018
A little over two years ago, the City of Virginia Beach, obviously had no idea of the potential the subsea cable industry was about to drop on the City’s door step. Nor did they realize that it would provide their twenty-five-year-old city owned business park, Corporate Landing, the long overdue stimulus it needed.
In May 2016, the Spanish subsea company Telefonica (Telxius) announced a joint venture to link Bilboa Spain, to Virginia Beach USA with the MAREA subsea cable. It was an innovative project driven by it’s Telxius partners Microsoft and Facebook plans to reach their data centers in Boydton and Henrico County Virginia, respectively. Two weeks ago, MAREA became fully operational.
Telxius selected its Cable Landing Station (CLS) site at 1900 Corporate Landing Parkway in Virginia Beach and added an additional subsea cable, BRUSA, linking Virginia Beach via Puerto Rico, Fortaleza, Brazil and finally to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. BRUSA is ready to come on line within the next few months.
Quick to recognize the opportunity that Telxius was bringing to the community, the City responded with it’s Economic Development officers attending major conferences, from PTC Hawaii to Capacity Europe, to educate, network and above all, sing the praises of Virginia Beach to attract this new industry to it’s City. Since then, to woo other cable operators and potential data center business, the City has been quick to roll out aggressive initiatives:
- The Virginia Beach Economic Development with the awarding of incentive grants for Corporate landing Park.
- In December of last year, Virginia Beach slashed its tax rate on computers and data center equipment to $0.40 per $100 of assessed value, currently the most competitive equipment tax breaks in the state
- The city has established two diverse terrestrial landing routes: Camp Pendleton, this route is complete and was built for Telxius’ MAREA and BRUSA cables, the second, Sandbridge, which is on the drawing board ready for future needs.
- Following in the footsteps of Singapore, Australia and a few others, they are in the final stages of Federal Government approval for Subsea Cable protection zones for both the above routes. This will be a first for North America to date.