The rise and rise of Ireland’s west coast as a major technology hub has been given a boost with the news that funding and planning has been approved for a €300m fibre optic cable that will connect Mayo with New York.

Dublin-based Aqua Comms has agreed a US$125m loan with global banking giant Nomura International.

The project in its entirety will require US$300m worth of investment.

According to The Irish Times, Mayo County Council has granted conditional planning approval for the project.

The fibre will come ashore at Killala and it is envisaged that the cable will go on to connect with the European mainland.

It was reported that Aqua Comms has engaged with Microsoft’s Irish unit and other US groups like CenturyLink Communiations and Edge Network Services.

The West is awakening

This isn’t the first time that an attempt to land a fibre network in Mayo was pushed. In 2011, Emerald Networks attempted to raise US$300m to finance a fibre network that would come ashore at Belmullet to link data centres in Ireland and Iceland. However, the project fell through.

The latest move by Aqua Networks comes within weeks of Apple revealing it plans to invest €850m in a renewable-energy powered data centre in Athenry in Galway that will power Apple’s online services, including the iTunes Store, the App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri, for customers across Europe.

The new €850m Athenry data centre will be the company’s largest data centre project in Europe, providing 300 jobs during its multiple phases.

As part of an overall €1.7bn investment, a similar Apple data centre will be located in Denmark’s central Jutland.

Source: siliconrepublic by John Kennedy