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Boat floating in front of a marina

200 Delegates. 60 Balloons. And a Cake.

Well, 2 cakes actually! The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) has gathered together every year for the last 60. The 3 day 2018 gathering was in Cape Town.

200 Delegates. 60 Balloons. And a Cake.

200 people. 60 balloons. 1 big cake. We were celebrating. UltraMAP has been present at all 6 of the last 6 get-togethers so this year was a mixture of meeting with old friends and making new ones.

Information Overload

Day 3 was the crescendo. Some of the industry’s most significant thought leaders and some really useful insight.

A series of Open Sessions included talks from The National Oceanography Centre (Monitoring the Dynamic Seafloor: Using Emerging Technologies to Better Understand the Threats Posed by Marine Geohazards), The Victoria University of Wellington (Submarine Cables and Climate Change), Royal IHC (Cost-Effective Solution for Cable Maintenance Contract), Squire Patton Boggs (International Law and Submarine Cables – Historic Perspective), Alcatel Submarine Networks (Overcoming the Challenges of Building a Submarine Cable systems in the Arctic), OPT French Polynesia (Honotua Submarine Cable System – Applying the Due Regard Principle in the Clarion-Clipperton Area), Ciena (Shannon’s Limit, the Catalyst for a Technology Sea Change) and Vodafone (Is It Time for a Global Cable Awareness Portal?)

Welcome Updates

It’s good to step off the treadmill. Technologies evolve. New partnerships develop. It was great to focus on these things and more without the pressures of the day-to-day.

We received updates about the ICPC’s collaborative liaisons with other seabed groups. Really useful. The goal remains twofold. First, the protection of submarine cables and second, the protection of the seabed upon which they are laid.

Other seabed user groups include ESCA, NASCA, OSCA, IHO, ITU, UNEP-WCMC, CIGRÉ, and AORA. Updates on the ICPC’s interactions with SubOptic 2019 and West African Cable Protection Working Group were also provided.

Collaboration (and Excellent Wine)

The lasting notion for UltraMAP was that close collaboration and teamwork remains paramount to best protect submarine cable infrastructure. The world is getting busier, communication ever more complex and dynamic and given the increased spatial constraints, we are seeing an ever-crowded seabed of users.

A timely reminder of how important our individual and collective responsibility is. And so to toast this worthy idea, the Wine Tasting evening arranged and sponsored by Mertech Marine at the Groot Constantia Estate was particularly welcome.

The 6th decade approaches. Until we meet again. Or as they say in Afrikaans – Totisens!

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