Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs

Global Crossing installed the Pan European Crossing Cable in 1999 at Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs, Kent to connect the UK with Europe via Belgium. Another link was designed for Seaford, East Sussex to Veules-les-Roses, France as backup.

The PEC network was to extend/compliment their 40Gbps AC1 – U.S to U.K. to Netherlands and Germany ring network built a year before in 1998. 

The cable landing station was built in Unit B1 & B2 Thanet Reach Business Park. It’s in typical pre-2000 standard, where pioneers used shared warehouses for their hardware to keep costs low.  

Typically two ducts will go out towards the beach and two will go inland towards London. Global Crossing sold 622Mbps, 1Gbps and Cisco based 10Gbps SONET services while keeping a tight lip on capacity, but its thought to be 100Gbps. 

Ultimately, it was to relieve pressure on AC1 for UK > Europe communications, so within a year, the PEC was deployed across europe. 

The PEC network ran from Ballinesker & Ballygrangans, Ireland through Bude & Whitesands Bay in a ring network then towards London onwards towards  13 European cities: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Hamburg, Hanover, Dusseldorf, Cologne, Frankfurt, Strasbourg, and Copenhagen.

In 2000 – Soon after it was operational, Level3 who was Global Crossings competitor at the time, installed the Tangerine cable between Broadstairs & Ostend, Belgium in direct competition. Building the cable landing station across the road in a purpose built – typical post-2000 style. With a new office block without a carpark look, which added 240 Gbps of low cost pan european capacity. This cable is due to expire in 2025 however it appears to have been upgraded or repurposed.

Research shows the Tangerine cable system was created by Alcatel Lucent using 32 fibres at 40Gbps each. After Global Crossing went bankrupt following a scandal, the assets were purchased by Level3, who was then purchased by CenturyLink. It’s not certain if both of these buildings are in use or if the new owners consolidated premises. 

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