Author Topic: P.E.I.'s Submarine Cables  (Read 2409 times)

Offline DavePEI

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P.E.I.'s Submarine Cables
« on: November 29, 2012, 03:30:20 PM »
Beginning 1824: Frederic Newton Gisborne, Engineer and Electrician, was born at Broughton, Lancashire, England, March 8th, 1824. On the 20th of November, 1852, Mr. Gisborne laid the first ocean cable on this side of the Atlantic, connecting Carleton Head, Prince Edward Island with Cape Tormentine, New Brunswick, a distance of 14 miles by water. This cable was used for telegraphy. This submarine cable was the first submarine cable in North America, and preceded the line to Newfoundland and then to England by four years.

The 1852 cable was layed by the side-wheel steamer "Ellen Gisborne" (named after Gisborne's wife) and operated for a relatively short time. The greatest significance of this cable is it proved the viability of cable connections and layed the groundwork for future telegraph and telephone cables. Future improvements in cable design and laying techniques made service more reliable..

1856, Aug 10 - the steamer Victoria proceeded to Prince Edward Island and laid a new telegraphic cable from Tormentine for the New York Newfoundland and London Telegraph Co.

1866, October - the steamer Medway and steamer Terrible laid a new telegraphic cable from Carleton Head to Cape Tormentine with Cyrus Field observing. New York Times article published September 30, 1866 said, "Mr. Field arrived here this afternoon from Shediac, having met the Medway and Terrible in the Straits of Northumberland, engaged in laying a new cable between New Brunswick and Prince Edward's Island.". 2nd New York Times article, October 5 1866: "Another Submarine Cable - the Cable Laid Across the Straits of Northumberland - Charlottetown, PEI, Thursday, October 4th. The cable across the straits of Northumberland, connecting New Brunswick with Prince Edward's Island, was successfully laid by the steamer Medway on Tuesday last. The Medway and Terrible then steamed immediately for England"

1910, a single circuit private experimental telephone cable was laid from Wood Island to Pictou, Nova Scotia to serve the F.B. McCurdy and Company, a Halifax based stock broker. McCurdy has established the experimental line to link its Halifax and PEI offices.

In 1910/1911 a two-core telephone cable was laid between Wood Islands and Caribou, Nova Scotia under the supervision of the Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company with the first inter-provincial call occuring on January 3rd, 1911. The location of this cable still shows on navigational charts today. The laying of this cable was completed New Year's Day, January 1, 1911. Two more submarine cable links for telephone were eventually constructed to N.B. belonging to the Federal Government.

1985 - Fibre optic cable made its debut on PEI, with a 25.6 km. link from Charlottetown to Seal River providing 2016 speech paths. A second run was installed running from Seal River to Montague providing 672 speech paths.

2004 - Bragg Communications (Eastlink) installed a 56-kilometer fibre submarine cable crossing the Northumberland Strait from Graham's Pond, P.E.I. to Port Hood, Nova Scotia. The installation was carried out by IT International Telecom and the Alcatel-Lucent vessel, "Ile de Batz".

Today, fibre cables are carried over the utility level of the Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick, and a second fibre submarine cable buried in recent years runs from Tormentine to New Brunswick to provide redundancy. Each cable is capable of carrying all of the Island's communication needs. Does anyone have any details on the laying of this submarine fibre cable, i.e. exact date, manufacturer of cable, ship laying it, etc.?

Sadly, the early submarine cables to PEI proved notoriously unreliable - few lasting more than a year or so, in part due to ice scrubbing on the Northumberland Strait, and because of the large amount of fishing and dragging that took place in the area. As a result, until the most recent cable was placed across the Confederation Bridge route, PEI relied upon Microwave links.

You will find more on the history of other Atlantic Cables at Bill Burns' "History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications " site - http://atlantic-cable.com/

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« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 10:46:22 PM by DavePEI »
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Offline DavePEI

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Re: P.E.I.'s Submarine Cables
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2015, 10:52:14 PM »
 “Prince Edward Island To Get New Service:

Telephone Communication between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will be established in the near future.

The Maritime telegraph and telephone company of Nova Scotia has commenced work on the laying of a cable across Northumberland Strait, from a point known as Waterside, just beyond Pictou, Nova Scotia, to Wood Island, near Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The distance is about 35 miles.

The Nova Scotia telephone exchanges have connections with those in New Brunswick, Portland, and Boston, and thus communication by telephone from points in the United States to Prince Edward Island can soon be had. There is only one other cable connecting Prince Edward Island with the mainland, which is owned by the Anglo-American telegraph company.

The Prince Edward Island Telephone Company has now established telephone connections with every part of this Province. The telephone is found in many farm houses.The rates now charged for telephone service to farm houses are $18 a year. Long distance rates, if to a point more than 20 miles from the exchange, are 25 cents for 5 minutes conversation;if less than 20 miles, 15 cents.”

Dec 1910 Clipping.

Additional Notes: In 1910/1911 a two-core telephone cable was laid between Wood Islands and Caribou, Nova Scotia under the supervision of the Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company with the first inter-provincial call occurring on January 3rd, 1911. The location of this cable still shows on navigational charts today. The laying of this cable was completed New Year's Day, January 1, 1911. Two more submarine cable links for telephone were eventually constructed to N.B. belonging to the Federal Government.

1911, Jan. 3 - first interprovincial calls made via the new submerged cable from Wood Islands to Pictou.
The Telephone Museum of Prince Edward Island:
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