This article discusses Project Express, a new transatlantic cable line created by the company, Hibernia Atlantic. Hibernia Atlantic is a company involved with developing telecom cables for undersea. Power Express is the newest development in these undersea cables; its 3,000-mile length and 300 million dollar price tag will stretch across the North Atlantic. Power Express is expected to decrease the time for information to travel from New York to London, creating a new record speed of 59.6 milliseconds for data travel. This diagram shows a comparison between the current fastest cable route, AC-1 designed by Global Crossing, and the projected Power Express route.
The Power Express hopes that traveling through the shallower water will help create a shorter distance and cut time. Yet, the shallower waters are more susceptible to damage. I know that Hibernia Atlantic is taking measures to avoid any damage, but I am curious as to how protected the cable will be and whether or not it will be able to withstand the potential threats.
When I began reading this article, I was surprised that Hibernia Atlantic would spend so much money in order to reduce the speed by 5 milliseconds. It seems outrageous that so much effort would be put in to making such a little difference. The article explained how strategic and tedious the planning for the route was for Hibernia Atlantic. Yet, as I continued to read the article it mentioned why firms would appreciate the decrease in time. According to the article, “…the incessant desire to sift through stock and bonds pricing data at ever-more blistering speeds has high-frequency trading firms willing to pay millions for access to new or upgraded fiber-optic communications networks”(businessweek.com). I found this significant because it demonstrates just how important data travel is to some companies. It shows how the firms value the speed at which they can receive and send data. However, I am curious to see how much longer the competition of being the fastest trans-Atlantic cable can last. It seems that there is not much else to be done in order to make the distance across the Atlantic shorter. For example, the article explained, “… through continuous improvements AC-1 will maintain its market position by the time Project Express opens”(businessweek.com). I am curious to see what will happen when Project Express does open and how it stands up against its expectations, as well as AC-1.
In addition, I was interested to learn from this article about the point of view from Manoj Narang. Narang owns the company, Tradeworx, also in the industry of data travel. He stated that, “All they’ve done is impose a gigantic tax on the industry and catalyze a new arms race” (businessweek.com). I think he brings up a good point because the high cost to accessing Project Express excludes so many firms. However, I suppose that is the intention of Hibernia Atlantic, in order to make their cable the most desired one. Project Express will open in 2013, and I am excited to see the outcome of all the planning and money that went into this project. I am also looking forward to what other companies might try to do in order to be the fastest transatlantic cable.