The recent announcement that SubOptic and the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) have agreed to work together can only be good news for the submarine fiber optic cable industry. 

Under the agreement, the two venerable organizations will start by presenting at each other’s conferences and, as the relationship develops, will investigate other opportunities for supporting each other’s activities. 

The submarine cable industry has reached a key point in its existence.  Some had written it off for dead 15 years ago.  Back then, the dotcom crash, global turmoil and the lack of demand for Internet bandwidth led to a disastrous period for the industry where demand for new cable systems dried up to the point of disappearing completely as investors fled.

The industry has struggled since then, first to get out of the drought and then to reach a point of stability.  Now, however, the need for Internet bandwidth is exploding, the dependence on the Internet demands redundant systems and remote populations are being connected to bring them the benefits of the Internet.  All of this, plus the return of investors to the market, has led to some good times for the industry.

Still, we now how quickly fortunes in this industry can turn.  Now is the time to build on recent success and prepare for future challenges.  That is what the SubOptic/ICPC agreement can do.  The two organizations have a huge knowledge base and the opportunities for cooperation and sharing information are tremendous.  ICPC’s expertise in cable protection can help with the issue of maintaining reliable connections to the Internet – which goes beyond keeping customers happy and now is a matter of national security.  SubOptic, meanwhile, has always been the place to be for understanding the building of new systems and the latest technological innovations.

The agreement can help the submarine cable industry by making information and expertise more readily available.  It may also help travel budgets by packing a bigger punch in each event.  All of this can only advance the industry further.