The submarine fiber optic cable industry is in the midst of a major building spree. Since 2014, supply contracts for nearly 150,000 kilometers of new cable systems have been announced, including nearly 25,000 kilometers in the first six months of 2016. Although this pace is down a bit from earlier six-month periods, it still indicates significant growth.

2016 Submarine Fiber Optic Cable Locations PDF

What is perhaps most interesting is where the cables are going. As the map in the infographic shows, most of the cable projects that have announced supply contracts thus far in 2016 are in developing areas of the world, such as East Africa and South Asia. Some will connect areas to the global submarine fiber optic cable network for the first time. Others will improve connectivity for developing countries by adding capacity and improving the reliability of Internet access in those countries. There is only one system in the developed world, linking Brazil and the United States. Altogether, more than a billion people could benefit from the new cable systems.

The awards in 2016 continue the trends of the previous two years. They will connect developed and developing areas, be built along already established routes as well as new or underutilized routes and show a wide geographic diversity. These are all indications of a mature and vibrant market.

There is little to indicate that this will change anytime soon. Planned projects show the same geographic and socio-economic diversity that will lead to cables being built around the globe. The submarine fiber optic cable market is strong in 2016 and should continue to be as growing demand for Internet services and bandwidth remains a daily feature of the market – and the world.

Information in this infographic was contributed by Submarine Cable World, a daily news service that forecasts and reports on the global submarine cable industry.