Laying Subsea Fibre-Optic Cables

Laying Subsea Fibre-Optic Cables

Commercial Divers Needed for Massive Fibre Optic Project Along the BC Coast

The Connected Coast project plans to run a network of fibre-optic cables on the seafloor, providing coastal BC communities with high-speed internet. The project is currently underway, as cables are being installed around Campbell River and the Discovery Islands. Commercial divers are a vital part of this project, as they are required for surveying and helping to install these cables.

What Connected Coast is

Connected Coast will provide 139 remote BC communities with high-speed internet. Once complete, 3400 km of fibre-optic cable will run from Prince Rupert to Haida Gwaii, snaking down the BC coast to Vancouver Island. This $45.4 million project is funded by the Provincial and Federal government, working together with CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District. “Access to reliable high-speed internet means that residents will be able to access online learning and health services, emergency notifications, news, and participate in online discussions and sharing. It will also open new economic development opportunities for residents who will be able to work remotely and participate on e-commerce and online business development.” (Connected Coast)

Construction of the Connected Coast project has steadily been gaining momentum. At the start of July, 87 kilometres of fibre-optic cable connected Haida Gwaii to Bonilla Island, just south of Prince Rupert. On Vancouver Island, fibre-optic cable has been connected to Qualicum, and now Connected Coast has their sights set on the Strait of Georgia. (Connected Coast Twitter

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Commercial Divers Working on this Project

Commercial divers are important personnel on this project, conducting environmental monitoring as well as helping to install the cables on the ocean floor. Christina Owen, Permitting Coordinator of Baylink Networks gave us some more information about the diving required for this project. “Some of Baylink’s dive teams perform essential site surveys and work alongside the landing site construction teams, ensuring that the marine environment is protected using scientific survey protocols and photo/video recording.” Divers are often used for environmental surveying, collecting data by means of photographic or video recordings. They provide essential information for the planning of large projects such as this one.

“Later in the process, dive teams are tasked with assisting on cable pulls into protective pipes built at the landing sites, feeding the conduit into the seaward end, and communicating with surface personnel via line pull signals to ensure cable is inserted smoothly.” Line pull signals allow divers and surface personnel to talk directly to one another without the use of electronic communication. It’s a good thing DiveSafe grads took our course and picked up that skill!

Once finished, the Connected Coast Project will provide much needed high-speed internet access to remote and rural communities on the coast of BC. Work on the Connected Coast project will continue into the fall of 2022 and provides commercial divers with career opportunities. Baylink Networks is currently hiring commercial divers. Contact DiveSafe International for more information!

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