News

Fibre Optic Development and the FAB Link Cable

As the draft Alderney Land Use Plan says, access to information and communication technology is vital for ensuring a sustainable Alderney. 

It is also clear that such access will play an important role in the island’s future economic development. 

As an Alderney company, ARE has been aware of the benefits improved communications infrastructure would bring to the island for many years. Because of this, as a shareholder and partner in FAB Link Limited, in the very early stages of the FAB Project, ARE was granted rights to access and commercially operate spare fibre optic capacity which will be installed as part of the project. 

This capacity will be one of the first benefits to the island from the FAB Project interconnector as it will not be reliant on future tidal energy development. 

The FAB Project comprises of 4 electrical cables laid in pairs (i.e. 2 cables bundled together) with 2 separate fibre optic cables laid with each pair. Fibre optics are required to operate the interconnector but because of the rights that ARE hold, we have also requested that additional fibres are added so that we can develop this opportunity. 

The FAB Project is now in the final stages of procurement and agreeing which contractors will build the link. 

As ARE is not a telecoms company, we have been involved in discussions with various potential partners, local and international, about the best way to develop this opportunity in the context of Alderney’s regulatory and commercial framework.

ARE has made it clear to the States of Alderney that it will commit to the following; 

  • Fibre optic capacity will be made available to telecoms operators on the island.
  • Telecoms operators (who will be responsible for delivering this service to islanders) will not be able to charge more than prices prevailing in Guernsey and Jersey.
  • If ARE is unable to make the business case happen, it will assign its Fibre Optic rights directly to the States of Alderney.  

There is still a lot to do, but what we can say today is that FAB does have spare Fibre Optic capacity and ARE has the rights to use it. We are working to make this happen, and look forward to reaching agreements with partners about the best way this can be achieved.

 


Posted by ARE Communications Department on 13th September 2017