Subsea cabling systems must be recognised as critical infrastructure, according to a host of experts speaking at the Submarine Networks Europe event

Subsea telecommunications cables facilitate $64 billion of trade for the UK economy, each year, according to a new report.

Speaking at the Submarine Networks Europe event in London, Keith Schofield, general manager of the International Cable Protection Committee, said that the amount of trade and commerce facilitated by subsea cable systems exceeded the total value of the UK’s annual trade deal with China.

Citing a new report published by the University of Huddersfield, Schofield said that subsea cabling systems were critical to our way of life, facilitating a range of critical services.

"Subsea cables bring nations together, keep consumers happy and keep data safe. We are investing billions of dollars for the betterment of humanity," said Schofield.

These thoughts were echoed by Gil Santaliz, CEO of the New Jersey Fibre Exchange, who said that investment in the subsea cabling sector was critical to safeguard the security and prosperity of future generations.

"Fundamentally, we need the internet to work and for that to happen we need those subsea connecting cables to work. Today, Internet of Things technology is no longer a nice to have – it’s a must have," he said.