New Brunswick

Fibre Centre says Moncton the hub of fibreoptic superhighway

Moncton's position as a commercial hub in the Maritimes could once again give it a huge economic boost, but this time the boost would be in the form of a long forgotten underground cable.

Giant fibre optic cable laid down in 2000 at a cost of $960 million

The cable under Moncton has the ability to send terabytes of information back and forth between Europe and North America in less than 60 milliseconds. (CBC)

Moncton's position as a commercial hub in the Maritimes could once again give it a huge economic boost, but this time the boost would be in the form of a long forgotten underground cable.

The giant fibre optic cable was laid down in 2000 by a company called 360networks at a cost of $960 million.

The company went bankrupt and a new company called Hibernia bought it. It carries a lot of the internet traffic between Europe and North America as well as phone and cable service.

Turns out running underneath Moncton is a second cable from another company, placing the Hub City in the hub of a fibreoptic superhighway.

The cable has the ability to send terabytes of information back and forth between the two continents in less than 60 milliseconds and Moncton company Fibre Centre wants to give local companies direct access to that cable.

George Donovan runs Gojii Games in Moncton, creating internet games that requires access to large amounts of secure bandwidth.

Underneath this trailer sized cement shed with barb wire around it sits a a giant fibre optic cable that carries a lot of the internet traffic between Europe and North America as well as phone and cable service. (CBC)

“So all of a sudden we're looking at terabytes of data in 24 to 48 hours that we never thought we would have to manage and if you don't have an infrastructure to deal with that, games go down, customers get frustrated and the opportunity is lost,” he said.

Two years ago he spent a lot of time and money trying to hook up to giant fibre optic cable and wishes he could have done it locally.

Fibre Centre says this would be the first in Atlantic Canada, allowing companies and universities to access multiple internet providers on demand.

Doug Robertson is with Venn and works to promote technology startups in the province. He says this kind of link would be a big attraction for Moncton.

“It's the next wave of our role in the region as a hub in this case a hub as a data centre as a connector for any company that relies heavily on the use of date and manipulation of big data,” he said.

Ben Champoux is with the economic development corporation, which has been renamed 3+.

He says the hook up to the super cable will allow him to recruit new companies he couldn't before.

“Over time we can flirt with the big players the Amazons, Googles, Facebook any one of these that for example have huge data centres,” he said.

Fibre Centre says it's in the final stages of closing on a $2 million building.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Allied Fibre was associated with the Moncton project. In fact, the company involved in Fibre Centre and Allied Fibre is not involved.
    Oct 21, 2014 9:08 AM AT