Open Eir wins €5m contract to connect transatlanic cable

Telecoms firm says deal will bolster Ireland’s reputation as location for data centres

Taoiseach Enda Kenny welcomes the $300 million transatlantic fibre-optic cable as it arrives in Killala, Co Mayo.

Open Eir, the wholesale arm of telecoms group Eir, has secured a contract worth more than €5 million to connect Aqua Comms' transatlantic cable system from Co Mayo to data centres in Dublin.

Irish-headquartered Aqua Comms began the laying of the $300 million (€268 million) 5,475km fibre-optic cable across the Atlantic from Long Island to Killala last August with the final splice occurring in November.

The AEConnect (America Europe Connect) cable system, which is the first fibre connection between Ireland’s western seaboard and the United States, and one of only a few transatlantic networks to be built in the last decade, went into service at the start of this year.

Bandwidth surges

A 100G-compliant network running at speeds of up to 13 terabytes per second (Tbps) (or 130×100 Gbps) per fibre pair, AEConnect is designed to meet surges in bandwidth demand from carriers, global data centres, financial services companies and cloud and content providers.


From Dublin, the cable system links to the existing Aqua Comms Irish Sea Fibre network, CeltixConnect, and on to Wales and major data centres in London. On the US side, the cable landing station connects to major data centres throughout New York City and New Jersey.

Adrian Marron, head of sales and service management at Open Eir, said the infrastructure deal would further bolster Ireland's reputation as one of the best locations in the world in which to build data centres.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist