Industries Economic Development

Virginia Beach gets third high-speed subsea cable

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ACA International LLC, which recently announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Virginia Beach, has announced a partnership with South Atlantic Express International Ltd. (SAEx) to land the third high-speed subsea cable in Virginia Beach.

ACA said Tuesday that it would be the landing party and neutral co-location service provider for the main trunk of the SAEx cable.
According to Virginia Beach city officials, the 72 terabit-per-second bandwidth SAEx cable will be the only system connecting South Africa directly to the U.S. It will combine with a partner system from Fortaleza, Brazil, to offer a diverse transatlantic network, with a planned second phase from South Africa to Asia.

"This is the third high-speed cable agreement to be finalized in Virginia Beach," Virginia Beach Economic Development Director Warren D. Harris, said in a statement.  "This new connection from South Africa is a significant addition to our global connectivity infrastructure and strengthens the city's position as a Tier One digital community."

The world's fastest subsea data cables installed by Microsoft, Facebook and Telxius connect Virginia Beach to Europe and South America. Globalinx Data Centers also is building a 150,000-square-foot, three-phased data center campus close to the Telxius Cable Landing Station in Virginia Beach.

Rosalind Thomas, managing director of SAEx International, said in a statement that extending SAEx to the U.S. “will boost access to the worldwide infrastructure and open up traffic diversity to increase access and service reliability, as demand from consumers and businesses grows rapidly. We are pleased to be collaborating with ACA International in the expansion of services and applications that are enabled by high-bandwidth networks, which are a catalyst for economic and social progress."

SAEx, based in Mauritius with a subsidiary company in South Africa, is building the third cable to connect Mtunzini on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast to Yzerfontein north of Cape Town, with branching units in East London and Port Elizabeth. The cable will cross the South Atlantic to Fortaleza in Brazil to link to a partner system, with a direct link to Virginia Beach.

ACA International previously announced plans to buy a 10.2-acre site in Corporate Landing Business Park for a 130,000-square-foot facility that will house its new corporate headquarters offices, a tier III data center providing neutral co-location services and also serve as the cable landing station.

Ben Davenport, a Virginia Beach City Council member, noted that the third cable would bring local benefits as well. “… Virginia Beach has a robust broadband infrastructure that is being upgraded to support the next generation of telecommunication systems," Davenport said in a statement. "A 126-linear mile municipal fiber network provides connectivity throughout the region ensuring municipal, educational and commercial facilities have access to the best digital technology available. The digital infrastructure is also available to help private carriers provide high quality."

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