Here is a development that submarine fiber optic cable owners should take note of.  According to Bloomberg Business, Apple is planning to build its own high-speed fiber optic network (see 

Right now, according to the report, Apple is only looking to connect its US data centers, but this could be the first step to acquiring large quantities of international submarine cable capacity, as other content providers have. 

Last month, Microsoft announced plans to buy capacity on three new transoceanic submarine cable projects, joining a consortium in one case and becoming a foundation customer in the other two.  Google and Facebook have joined a number of cable consortia in recent years.  Hetzner, a leading German content provider and data center operator, also jumped into the cable ownership business by joining a Baltic cable project earlier this year. 

We will only see more evidence of this trend in coming years as content providers are driven by exploding demand to acquire greater and greater amounts of capacity.  As this happens the providers will want to exert more control over that capacity by getting in on the ground floor of new cable systems.