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Homeland Security Calls for Greater Protections of Global Telecommunications

Hibernia Atlantic, the only diverse transAtlantic submarine transport cable provider, today announces its support of U.S. accession to the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The Convention significantly improves protection for international submarine cables and provides tangible measures whereby the United States can protect cables which land in this country as well as overseas, including measures to prevent piracy and other actions which would threaten to injure critical submarine cable infrastructure and requires nations to make damage to submarine cables a punishable offense.

Hibernia Atlantic considers these measures to be vital not only to transAtlantic submarine cable providers, but to U.S. interests. Hibernia's position is consistent with the Department of Homeland Security's recent strategy report that counts information and telecommunications, along with banking and finance, among the critical infrastructure sectors necessary to protect from disruption or the threat of terrorism.

The report outlines measures to further protect these sectors, such as avoiding using the same backhaul areas and congested waterways for cable lays. Hibernia Atlantic is committed to providing a safer choice for financial, carrier and wholesale communications by ensuring its network footprint is more north than traditional submarine routes.

"Modern fiber optic cables are the lifeblood of the world's economy, carrying almost 100% of global Internet communication," states Douglas Burnett, testifying before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on behalf of the North American Submarine Cable Association (NASCA) with respect to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. "This underscores the revolutionary capacity of modern fiber optic submarine cables. By any standard, they constitute critical infrastructure to the United States, and indeed the world."

"Given the financial sector's reliance on the Internet and next-generation communications, the challenge now is to maintain and protect fiber optic submarine cable systems' integrity and to facilitate new construction," states Bjarni Thorvardarson, Chief Executive Officer of Hibernia Atlantic. "The U.S. accession to United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea not only protects Hibernia Atlantic and other submarine cable providers, it represents a pro-active and affirmative step to secure the current and future health of our global, information-based economy."

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