A note from our President, Erick Contag

Updates – Dec, 2019

Dear members and friends of the SubOptic Association,

SubOptic 2019 was in many ways a milestone year for SubOptic.  Not only did we successfully hold a great conference, but it also marked the end of transitioning SubOptic to a new, all inclusive industry association.

The membership voted in a new Executive Committee, who then elected a President from its core.  I am honored to be the association’s new President supported by Paul Gabla from ASN, who serves as the Association’s Vice President, and eight other EC members representing the many sectors of our subsea community.

The SubOptic Association is invested in the long-term success of the fiber-optic subsea communications industry, through participation in workforce development issues, fundraising and program development, working groups and educational partnerships, amongst others.

One of our first tasks as the new EC was to revise our Vision, Mission and Values statement:

 “We were founded on the belief that we should openly share ideas and address issues in a neutral forum representing the ecosystem of the global submarine communications industry.  Our goal is to be the voice of the industry promoting innovation and sustainability of the global communications fabric.”

The EC is working on the long-term strategic plan, as well as launching several initiatives.

You will notice that we have re-branded the Association:  our new brand stands to represent our subsea community, a collaborative and inclusive future, and one that recognizes our core values.

Over the coming months, we look forward to sharing more news with you as we continue to execute on our strategic plan, develop new working groups and industry initiatives, and grow as a new association.

Thank you for your continued support and please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of SubOptic’s EC members to share and exchange thoughts on our industry and how we can serve you better.

With warm regards,


SubOptic Association Launches Diversity Fund, Sponsors Subsea International Summer School

Updates – March 11, 2018

Read our latest newsletter “Diversity and Inclusion at SubOptic 2019 and Beyond” highlighting the new SubOptic Diversity Fund:

“SubOptic is not just a triennial conference. It is a living, day-to-day industry association that is constantly looking for better ways to support the efforts of professionals in all segments of the subsea community.

In that spirit, the SubOptic Executive Committee has created a Diversity Fund to encourage people of any age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, and sexual orientation to enter this industry and contribute to the critical role that it plays in developing a more connected world for everyone. The fund is particularly aimed at supporting involvement in future SubOptic conferences by people described above or from under-represented countries and markets.”


SubOptic Association has joined with the OSA Foundation and Google to support and sponsor the Subsea Optical Fiber Communications International Summer School.  The inaugural session of this intensive week-long course for young talents will run from 4-10 August in Finland.  See the press release:


Together with the launch of our Working Group on Professional Opportunities, Diversity & Inclusion, this education partnership signals the central importance of renewing human capital in SubOptic’s vision for the subsea community.  Our Open Cables Working Group for its part tackles vital technical questions tied to the subjects the course addresses.

Update – February 1, 2019

SubOptic at PTC ’19 – SubOptic this year was the Gold Sponsor for the PTC Sunday Submarine Cable Workshop and luncheon.  Organized and chaired brilliantly by Elaine Stafford, with a stimulating lunch panel led by Erick Contag, the event was by all accounts a success and an effective showcase for the both the subsea industry and the association’s work.  See Yves Ruggeri and Erick Contag on PTC TV .

SubOptic 2019 – A Memorable Success

SubOptic 2019, the tenth in the industry-renowned submarine telecoms conference series, was held in New Orleans USA from April 8 to 11, 2019. A triennial event, SubOptic is the longest running and most comprehensive conference series in the world for the submarine fiber industry. With Ciena as Host, STF Events as event managers, and the volunteer contribution of dozens of expert researchers, reviewers and presenters, the SubOptic Association delivered another outstanding world-class program of 140 original papers.  Attendance at SubOptic 2019 surpassed that of the five previous SubOptic conferences, with over 900 delegates from 283 organizations and 50 countries.

Bringing you more than just a great Conference

Established in 1986, SubOptic is a non-profit association active in the international undersea communications industry and best known for the triennial conference it organizes, widely considered to be the global summit of the submarine cable community.  It stands out as the only such event organized by the industry itself, with the Association maintaining complete editorial and program development responsibility, to ensure the conference truly remains, “For the industry – by the industry”.

A Broader Mandate

After thirty years of successful events, SubOptic Association set out in 2017 to improve and expand the services it provides and the value it brings to the subsea cable industry. In addition to staging the renowned SubOptic conferences, the Association is widening its scope and extending membership to all participants in the sector, with the aim of becoming the industry’s global trade association.

As part of this renewal, we have teamed with a professional event management organization, STF Events, to manage all the logistics of SubOptic 2019. Nevertheless, SubOptic still

Under the newly-adopted constitution, the Association’s purpose is to promote the interests of organizations and individuals involved in the planning, deployment and operation of submarine cable systems, the technology used in such systems and good industry practices. The Association provides a forum for the discussion of ideas, the exchange of non-competitive information, the advancement of knowledge through research and training, and raising of awareness of issues relevant to the submarine telecommunications cable industry.

This mandate builds on past accomplishments such as the guidelines for standard construction contracts, and the “Guide” series of tutorials on implementing cable systems, both freely available on our website.

Turning Vision into Reality

A newly elected 10-person Executive Committee, reflecting the main subsea industry segments and geographies as well as the diversity of its people, took office at SubOptic 2019, and is already hard at work to roll out new services and activities for Members.

We warmly invite all those active in the industry to become part of the revamped SubOptic, joining over 60 companies that have signed up since the launch of open membership in 2017.

Please watch this space for more information about upcoming events!