Zayo announced today the launch of its new Zeus subsea route connecting the UK and continental Europe via access points in Lowestoft, UK and Zandvoort, Netherlands. Zayo engineered Zeus to be the most dense, deeply-buried and robust cable available in the North Sea, and the route includes terrestrial backhaul connectivity to London and Amsterdam.
“Meeting the connectivity needs of tomorrow requires deploying the most advanced network today, and that’s exactly what we’ve built for customers who want a hyper-fast and ultra-reliable connection between the UK and mainland Europe,” said Jesper Aagaard, president of Zayo Europe. “Zeus is now the strongest connection available in the region. We utilized the best cable available, buried it deeper in the seabed than our competitors and made it even more reliable than alternatives. We are confident our customers will benefit from this project for years- and even decades- to come.”
Zeus was specifically-designed for speed, security and reliability. At 192 fibres, Zeus contains the highest fibre count connecting the UK and mainland Europe. Zayo utilized Ultra Low Loss (ULL) optical fibres, so wavelength throughput on a single channel between London and Amsterdam can reach up to 600G. To meet customers’ next-generation bandwidth needs, the network can handle 2,650 Tbps of C Band when at capacity.
Zeus is now the deepest-buried cable in the North Sea, located between 2 and 3 metres under the seabed in comparison with half a metre for existing, outdated cables. The cable is guaranteed to be 100% dual-armored – all the way through the joints – to prevent interference. To ensure an optimal customer experience, Zayo continuously monitors Zeus via OTDR devices for rapid fault identification. In addition, Zayo will be leveraging a 24 X 7 guard vessel to monitor any activity along the path.
“The North Sea is an extremely challenging body of water for a subsea project like Zeus. Not only are there harsh weather conditions and relentless currents, the seabed is littered with items, some as simple as a discarded aluminum can and some as formidable as unexploded bombs left over from the Second World War,” said Geir Holmer, CEO of JTD Associates and a key consultant on the project. “Not only did we overcome these challenges, we worked tirelessly with Zayo to ensure this route was built to last – making it the most resilient route across the North Sea. I’m proud to have been part of this project, and what it will enable.”
As part of the project, the team worked with the Royal Netherlands Navy to detonate a large, 80- year-old explosive that had been left on the seabed since World War II. The team also put sustainability first, working to limit disruption and preserve the ecology of the sea. More on the detonation, as well as the team’s process, is available here.
As customers come online on Zeus, Zayo is continuing to augment its European-based NOC to provide customers best-in-class service. At a time when many in the industry are outsourcing essential customer support functions, Zayo is locating this team in its European headquarters, based in central London. Zayo’s European team is also preparing to launch a new ULL route connecting Frankfurt to Milan via Zurich, an important route for financial customers.