A total of 18 undersea internet cables reaches the shores Sicily; they are distributed over five landing points and originate from Asia, Africa and North America. The island occupies a key role in the global network and, with the appropriate investments, could become one of the most important hubs in the world. The Open Hub Med project, funded also by Vue Tel Italy, has this aim.
East and West meet in Sicily
Geography has made Sicily a bridge between cultures: positioned at the centre of the Mediterranean Sea, it has always represented a natural point of passage between Europe and Africa. New technologies have amplified this role and now the island is an important hub in the global telecommunication network, able to bring East and West together. A total of 18 undersea cables reaches Sicily, forming part of that network upon which the near totality of data traffic takes place. The main hub is Mazara del Vallo, recipient of a considerable number of cables (nine), followed by Catania (five), Palermo (two), and Pozzallo and Trapani (one). Some of these connections are real digital motorways, travelling through continents for thousands of kilometres. It is the case of SeaMeWe3, which runs for more than 39,000 km: it starts in Japan, passes through Australia, crosses the Pacific Ocean and the Suez Canal, reaches Mazara and then heads to the United Kingdom. Other strategic cables that pass through Sicily are Columbus III (Italy-USA), SeaMeWe4 and SeaMeWe5 (Malesia-France), and FLAG Europe-Asia (Japan- United Kingdom).
The Open Hub Med project
Sicily, therefore, has all the prerequisites for being a hub of primary importance, but, to this day, it has not fully used its potential, especially due to the low level of investments. Now, however, something seems to be moving. This is demonstrated by Open Hub Med, a project in which VueTel Italy is also taking part; it aims at creating a neutral technological centre (in Carini, Palermo), open to all TLC operators in the world, extending and integrating the existing facilities. The initiative will have the immediate effect of diversifying the routes that Companies can use, improving the offer in terms of quality and increasing its competitiveness.