Originally posted on PTC

In the dynamic world of global connectivity, the construction and maintenance of subsea cables are pivotal. However, beyond technical prowess, the success of these endeavors hinges on a community-driven approach and a steadfast commitment to the longevity of assets. Emphasizing meticulous design and innovative installation techniques like the use of Capjet – a modern alternative to the traditional plough method – sets a new benchmark for excellence. This strategy, championed by leaders like Tampnet Carrier, illustrates a comprehensive commitment to environmental care and the thoughtful integration of community interests throughout the fiber project lifecycle. 

The importance of community engagement became instrumental in the early days of the Norfest project, Tampnet Carrier’s 750 KM subsea cable system currently underway in Norway. Before the first trench was dug, Tampnet recognized the need to traverse through diverse landscapes and diligently collaborate with communities, municipalities, environmental groups, and national parks, both terrestrial and oceanic. Prioritizing early engagement from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, the Norfest team sought approvals from six central government ministries, five regional government authorities, 21 local government authorities, five non-governmental organizations, five national parks / protected areas, and several other entities. The breadth of permission requirements reflects the role that regulatory compliance would play in the successful completion of the cable project and demonstrates the depth of community engagement needed for a project of this nature. This extensive collaboration between Tampnet Carrier and various community stakeholders highlights a crucial lesson for the industry: community engagement that addresses the interests of all stakeholders is key to navigating the complex regulatory and environmental landscape effectively. By integrating local concerns and priorities from the onset, the project not only ensured smoother progress through the planning and construction phases but also minimized potential roadblocks and delays. 

Building subsea cables involves navigating through a myriad of regulatory hurdles, especially in countries like Norway. Engaging with local communities, seeking municipal approvals, and accounting for national parks and waterways can help in the process of obtaining special permissions, a process that can be lengthy and cumbersome. This approach to navigating the process ensures that the full scope of permissions are obtained and the cables are laid responsibly, minimizing disruptions to the project timeline while adhering to environmental and local community interests. 

Similarly, cable providers must also consider other organizations specific to each region that have a stakeholding interest in the subsea cable project. In Norway, for instance, Tampnet worked closely with the Norwegian Fisherman’s Association to ensure that cables are laid without interfering with trawling routes. This collaboration prevents disruptions to fishing activities and safeguards the cables from being inadvertently damaged by trawling. 

Part of what made the process of working with these local entities and municipalities possible is Tampnet Carrier’s corporate status as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tampnet. Tampnet Carrier can prioritize community trust and uphold its commitment to responsible subsea cable construction without having to compromise with external shareholders or investors. This marks an evolving market trend of placing a premium on companies that foster trust within the communities they operate while minimizing the interference of corporate bureaucracy in collaborating with the local authorities and other community stakeholders. 

In allaying the concerns of environmental organizations and other stakeholding groups that the cable project will have minimal adverse consequences, it is important to highlight the technologies and methods that are being used to ensure minimal disruption to the ecosystem. Tampnet Carrier employs cutting-edge technologies that ensure the longevity and resilience of the cables, meaning minimum upkeep and disruptions due to maintenance or needing to replace cables. By refusing to compromise equipment quality for cost or speed of deployment, fiber providers will actually save money over time and foster a stronger sense of trust from customers, community, and regulatory entities. 

In line with these innovative practices, the integration of the Capjet system into their operations marks a significant evolution in subsea cable trenching. Contrasting with traditional ploughing methods, the Capjet system’s lightweight design significantly reduces the risk of damaging cables during burial, offering a safer alternative. Capjet’s adaptability for use in diverse seabed conditions and its compatibility with a variety of surface vessels enhance its practical utility. 

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