World’s Longest Subsea Cable Project Makes California County Communications Hub

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Robison Wells
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A 10,000-mile-long subsea fiber optic cable will connect the city of Eureka, California, in Humboldt County, to Singapore; this turns the county into a central communications hub that will eventually see two more massive projects.

The California Coastal Commission approved the project in July. Construction commences, beginning on the landing site and an offshore location. It starts with directional boring to install cables underground in Eureka. The bores will run 50 feet below sea level and extend 1.2 miles from shore. Meanwhile, contractors are installing four steel conduit pipes offshore.

From there, a ship with a massive undersea plow, the cable ship CS Segero, will create a furrow five feet deep while laying cable. The vessel will continue this for 31 miles, burying cable as it goes until it reaches a distance where fishing boats won’t disturb the lines.

“This is huge for our region, and most people probably won’t even notice that anything has happened,” Humboldt Bay Harbor, Recreation and Conservation District executive director Larry Oetker said. “The private sector, financial institutions, and internet companies will be able to take advantage of this high speed and direct connectivity to the Pacific Ocean out to Asia and also going east to the rest of the country. We probably will be a data hub for the United States.”

After workers finish putting the cable in place, scheduled for 2023, the California Coastal Commission plans to approve lines from Humboldt County to Australia and Japan. Oetker says this is just the beginning. “We’re focused on broadband, sustainable aquaculture with Nordic Aquafarms and then the offshore wind industry. We believe that these will help set the stage for the future industries well into the next 40 to 50 years.”

Businesses in Humboldt County and beyond look forward to faster communications with overseas partners when builders finish burying subsea fiberoptic cable between the California coast and Singapore.

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