The public company Canalink, of the Cabildo de Tenerifewill link the Island with a submarine telecommunications cable Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura Y Lanzarote. This infrastructure for telephone and internet lines, key in the digital communications of the Archipelago, has a cost of 34.4 million euros. Of these, 23.8 are financed with European funds and the other 11 will be provided by the Tenerife Corporation. The deployment of the cabling, with technology for maximum speed connections (high performance 5G), will take 46 months with the maximum threshold in 2026. This was explained yesterday by the insular president, Pedro Martín, who assessed that “Tenerife leads in this way the fiber optic connections in Canary Islands and with Africa and Europe.
Canalink, which belongs to the Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (ITER), dependent on the Tenerife Council, obtained the maximum financing –23.4 million of the 39 awarded– in the Connecting Europe Facility contest –Connect Europe in Spanish–, to which Five companies presented. The grant signing took place last Monday. In addition to the deployment of the cable in the eastern islands, the help line will allow a study to be carried out to install new similar infrastructures in the future in the digital and telecommunications world.
The estimated duration of the work is 46 months from its start with a maximum threshold to be completed in 2026. The intention is to start the entire process next year.
Pedro Martín values the news as “very important” as it is a project in which the Cabildo has invested since the beginning of the mandate (2019) “with the aim of turning the Island into a logistics and digital platform.” The president stresses that «Tenerife manages with this project to connect the Canary Islands with the world». He details that it is a “state-of-the-art” submarine cable, with an estimated useful life of three decades.
Regarding the cost for the insular coffers of eleven million euros, Pedro Martín explained that the ITER gives benefits of between five and six million each year, for which he glimpsed that with the 30 useful life of the cable “we can have it amortized in two”. The Canalink company already provides services to multinational companies such as MásMóvil and Orange, as well as African companies, such as Maroc Telecom, the most important in Morocco. It also manages 70% of Mauritanian submarine cable digital traffic.
The three links in the chain of the submarine cable in the Islands are the connections between Tenerife, Gran Canaria and La Palma with extension to Africa and Europe; a second jump from Gran Canaria to Lisbon; and now the third, thanks to this European financing, which will connect Tenerife with Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Fuerteventura. Canalink has also obtained financing in this line of aid to develop a study on the possible deployment of new cables in La Gomera and El Hierro. This will be the fourth jump to face.
“Tenerife connects the Canary Islands with the whole world through this project”
Martín considers that this type of business “can be a plan B for our main economic resource, which is tourism.” “The Cabildo also aspires to put a territory like Tenerife in a situation of hyperconnectivity to continue attracting resources and talent to the islands,” he added.
Tenerife is the tenth destination for digital nomads, according to the president. In previous years, this figure focused on several campaigns of the Government of the Canary Islands with the idea of attracting this type of visitor, estimated at around 87,000 in 2022. The initiative for cabling between the islands reinforces, in this sense, “our capacity to host technology companies,” said Martín. He added that Tenerife is also the first Island certified as a Smart Tourist Destination. He linked the recognition with the project presented yesterday because “a fundamental step to multiply our connection capacity and offer technological platforms to those who visit us.”
the technical part
Carlos Suárez general director of Canalink, explained the technical issues. He pointed out that “the useful life of a cable can be between 25 and 30 years. In this case, not having repeaters that wear it down, it would be close to the maximum figure. Suarez explains: “We decided not to load the map provided with more lines (on the left), but we must mention other cables in which we participate, such as the ACE that goes from South Africa to France and passes through about twenty countries on the African continent.”
Suárez also highlights the two connections that from Tenerife and Gran Canaria lead respectively to the Andalusian towns of Rota and Conil de la Frontera, in Cádiz, to continue later on to Lisbon, in Portugal. The bidirectional characteristic with double sealing of these infrastructures also stands out, which means that if one cable breaks down, the other remains operational.
Canalink has been operating since 2010 this entire network of submarine fiber optic cables that connect Tenerife with the Peninsula, Gran Canaria and La Palma. The objective is twofold: boost competition in the telecommunications sector and lower the cost of consumer benefits. The infrastructure to connect Tenerife, through Gran Canaria, with Lanzarote and Fuerteventura weaves a submarine network that already connects five islands, Africa and the European continent.