It looks like there may be another new transatlantic cable in town soon. Emerald Atlantis and TE SubCom announced the finalization of an agreement to build the Emerald Express Trans-Atlantic Cable System. And what a system it would be too, supporting 100x100Gbps on each of six fiber pairs - which would add up to 60Tbps I believe. The marine cable route survey begins in August, and the target date for the cable to be in service would be late 2012, according to the PR.
The cable would follow a 'great circle' route between Canada and the UK, with an offshoot hooking up Iceland. That would give it latency advantages, which of course are of great interest these days to an increasingly wide range of bandwidth customers. Just what that latency would was unsaid, perhaps because at this stage it isn't certain. Hibernia Atlantic is of course working on a new cable of its own with low latency featuring big there as well.
But looking through the Emerald Atlantis about page, it looks like a big driving force here is actually Iceland. More specifically, it would feature high bandwidth connectivity and low latency that would feed data centers powered by the island nation's cheap hydro and geothermal energy. The company is backed by Wellcome Trust, a UK based fund with major investments in Icelandic data centers. Whatever the motivation though, a 60Tbps low latency cable would surely shake things up in the transatlantic bandwidth market.
TE SubCom is also working on the Pacific Fibre cable over on the other side of the planet these days, apparently business is good.