SubTel Forum Issue #114 Exordium

September 28, 2020

Welcome to Issue 114, our Offshore Energy edition.

Vive le Tour!

What a wonderful few weeks we have had watching daily le Tour de France! In spite of this mess called COVID, France has accomplished the near impossible and produced one of the most memorable races in its more than 100 year history. Last year’s contenders are today a distant memory. New names from new competing countries have emerged, and as a result, the race is fresh and embracing. And for this Tour addict, it has been really appreciated, savored and enjoyed.

September has also brought a new school year and I have watched as the teachers in my house learn numerous new on-line tools for accomplishing distance teaching for middle and high school kids in the area. Our school district has accomplished in a matter of months what others have planned for years. And this story is being repeated worldwide by teachers and administrators and students everywhere. I hear new terms in the air, like ‘synchronous’ and ‘asynchronous’ classes, and I watch with some awe how new techniques have been utilized in short order. It is interesting to see my six year old granddaughter start her school year with a new school-provided Chromebook – no classroom for her or thousands of other kids for now, but we will see just when that will change to hybrid or in-school or whatever comes next.

We are all adapting to the new normal.

I have heard that some submarine cable systems are experiencing demand increases of some 30% since pre-pandemic. An article recently reported that the “cloud” had experienced an uptick of 25% for the same period. In any case, these are significant numbers and it will be interesting to see if they continue in the future – my bet is that they indeed will.

As I have written before – we as an industry are basically keeping the world stitched together, and as such, we should take some pride in that.

Offshore energy continues to be a feast and famine industry. Just consider the last few months and ensuing oil price decreases. But things are also happening in this sector. I am pleased that we have in this issue’s interview with Tampnet, discussion about their upcoming acquisition of the BP GoM submarine cable system. We also have a number of other excellent articles, considering the linkage between offshore energy, wind and yes, submarine telecom systems.

Next month we will be releasing the 9th edition of the Submarine Telecoms Industry Report and we are honored that the head of the ITU, Secretary General Houlin Zhao, has offered to write again this year’s foreword. In addition to COVID, there have been a number of interesting developments in our industry over the last year, which we will be discussing there in greater detail. As always, the report will also feature some truly excellent expertise and opining from across our industry, as well as loads of details on where we have been and where we are headed.

Work has also already begun on our printed Submarine Cable Map, which is coming in 2021 to a wall near you.

We are accomplishing our annual industry survey, which is embedded in this issue and the results of which will be highlighted in our upcoming Industry Report in October. Please do participate in the survey!

As always, we have some really excellent articles in this issue, dissecting and discussing the theme, Offshore Energy, from a myriad of perspectives. Thanks to these system owner, supplier and contractor authors for their significant inputs. One author I would like to highlight is Shashank Krishna, who managed to deliver his exceptional article only three days after his first child was born – Congratulations to him and his growing family!

Thanks especially for their support to this issue’s advertisers: LL Flex, Prysmian Group and Southern Cross. Lastly, we highlight the updates to the online cable map with both recent big and little cable announcements; and of course, our ever popular “Where in the World AreAll Those Pesky Cableships” is included as well.

Good reading and stay well,

Wayne Nielsen


To read the rest of Issue #114 of SubTel Forum, please click here.