Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Hibernia Atlantic proves willing and cable to go global

Hibernia Atlantic is a telecommunications company in Northern Ireland. Its products are a ‘necessity’ for businesses and as a result, the firm has managed to ride out the recession.

Its positivity has manifested itself in the shape of global ambitions and exciting plans for the future as vice president of sales in Europe, Fergus Innes, informed us.

What is Hibernia Atlantic?

Hibernia Atlantic is a provider of Wide Area Network (WAN) services to enterprise, wholesale and government organisations. Hibernia owns and operates a transatlantic submarine cable and terrestrial cable network that offers over 100 redundant network Points of Presence (PoPs) throughout the island the Ireland, Canada, US, UK and mainland Europe on over 24,000 kilometres of network. Hibernia provides secure and diverse dedicated ethernet and SDH services from 2Mbit/s-40Gbit/s for national and international connectivity solutions.

You are a new telecoms company in Northern Ireland, what are you offering that is different?

The Hibernia Atlantic network provides European and US customers with direct transatlantic connectivity, at competitive prices, with unparalleled support and service. For Northern Ireland, this is the first and only transatlantic cable connection to North America. Hibernia now provides an alternative to incumbent telecoms operators.

You were awarded the €30m contract to implement Project Kelvin, can you tell us more about that?

It is an EU-funded project in partnership with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Republic’s Department of Communications, Environment and Natural Resources. Expected benefits include improved competition in the Northern Ireland telecommunications market and improved speed and reliability of international telecommunications.

How will this new infrastructure affect Northern Ireland?

It has the potential to bring further investment into Northern Ireland. Already there are companies that are setting up here because of this infrastructure. It also has the potential to assist businesses who are based in Northern Ireland and have clients or subsidiary companies in Europe or America.

Who are your potential clients?

Any business that requires low latency, reliable and competitively priced communications within Northern Ireland or to North America and Europe. The increased bandwidth will benefit all business.

Has the recession affected your business?

Effective communications is not a nice thing to have, it’s an absolute necessity for businesses to survive and grow. So no, we’ve been very lucky and year on we’ve generated business and revenue globally.

Are there any benefits to being part of a global company?

Yes, we are a diverse global organisation, which has a number of experienced individuals, each of whom bring something different to the company in the way of knowledge and expertise. We harness that skill to facilitate companies with the capacity they require.

Hibernia Atlantic removes the physical barrier of thousands of miles so as people, around the world, can operate seamlessly, as if they are sitting next to each other at two different desks.

Telecoms is a competitive marketplace. How do you stay ahead of your rivals?

It’s simple, we ensure our customers have a first-rate service and give them the support they expect. We deploy cutting edge technology and ensure we are better commercially positioned than our competitors.

The company has a fibre optic cable which comes ashore north of Dublin, how has that changed industry in the Republic and will it assist companies in the North?

The direct connectivity from Dublin to North America opened the market in terms of competitiveness. Multi-national business looking for a foothold in Europe needed to ensure it had a total package available. Telecoms has always been an integral part of that decision making process. What is different now is that the additional cable landing in the North West gives complete resilience and diversity for companies based anywhere in the island of Ireland.both to the east and west.

Is Northern Ireland beginning to emerge as a digital hub?

Without a doubt, you just have to look at the Northern Ireland Science Park and some areas in Belfast to see emerging digital media companies. With this new infrastructure in place, Northern Ireland is a great location for more of these companies to base themselves and avail of these services.

What are the long-term ambitions of the company?

I’m afraid I can’t see that far into the future but Hibernia will continue to grow geographically and expand into new |markets.

What is the best piece of advice you were given in your career?

Learn from your mistakes and treat people the way you wish to be treated. It has always stood me in good stead throughout my career.

Is there any exciting news on the horizon?

Yes. The infrastructure is live and there will be some exciting news of companies signing up to using the cable.

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