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Fort to house transatlantic cable

A former military base in Northern Ireland will house the eastern end of a transatlantic telecom cable linking the UK to the USA, it has been announced.

The telehouse for the £25.9 million (30 million euro) Project Kelvin will be located on the site of the old Fort George Army and Navy compound in Londonderry, Hibernia Atlantic revealed.

The transatlantic submarine communications cable firm said that Derry regeneration company Ilex will now apply for permission for the development after planners decided the site on the banks of the River Foyle was the ideal place for the facility. The telehouse is where the cable will be plugged into the local telecom network.

The fibre optic cable runs along the seabed, connecting England to the US. A 22-mile offshoot was brought ashore in Portrush last month in order to link Northern Ireland to the high speed digital service.

The project, jointly funded by the Stormont executive, the Irish government and the EU, will also see a cable brought ashore in Dublin to enhance services in the Republic of Ireland.

Coleraine was previously chosen for location of the telehouse, but the decision was reversed amid a high profile campaign.

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