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Hibernia Secures $250 Million for Project Express

Hibernia Atlantic has secured a $250 million financing commitment for Project Express, its planned transatlantic low-latency connection for high frequency traders. The funding, from one of its vendors, Huawei Marine Networks Co., allows Hibernia to proceed with what it anticipates to be the fastest trading link between New York and London with expected latency of less than 60 milliseconds.

Hibernia says the transatlantic cable will be the first build of its kind in over ten years. It is designed to offer clients of its Global Financial Network (GFN) - traders, banks, brokerages and exchanges - the fastest route across the Atlantic.

As reported (see hear), the 60ms New York to London round trip delay – measured from 111 Eighth Avenue to Slough – will beat speeds of about 65ms achieved by competitors such as Global Crossing and Atlantic Crossing on the same route with similar end points. The cable will also outsmart Hibernia’s two existing transatlantic links that were not designed with low latency in mind and have a round trip delay of about 74ms.

The new connection will extend latency savings to other key routes as well. Says Bjarni Thorvardarson, CEO of Hibernia Atlantic: “Once the Express fibre construction is deployed and optimised, the speed in which it takes to reach key financial cities such as Chicago, Toronto and Frankfurt will also be faster. Additionally, to ensure a flexible and state-of-the-art submarine network build, Express will be lit with 40G technology which can then be upgraded to 100G as need demands."

Huawei Marine Networks is a submarine cable joint venture between China-based Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and Global Marine Systems Ltd. The company specialises in the construction of global submarine cable communication networks. Nigel Bayliff, CEO, of Huawei Marine Networks, says the new link will meet clients’ needs for “high capacity, fast speeds, and a secure and reliable environment to transport from one key financial city or exchange to the next.”

According to Mike Saunders, vice president of business development for Hibernia Atlantic, Phase 1 of the build will involve “constructing a new cable from the county of Somerset in the UK to Halifax in Canada.” This will then connect to Hibernia’s existing low-latency cable from Halifax to New York. “We will also build with future expansion in mind, including branching units for additional latency enhancements to the United States and continental Europe.”

Hibernia has already secured client commitments for the new facility. The build is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012. See below for a map of the build. [download id=7584]

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