Antibes Port-Grimaud: A first for fibre optic communications :

barre Port Grimaud
       On 18 April 1984, the newspaper 'Nice Matin' headlined :

"World first in telecommunications between Port Grimaud and Antibes
The longest submarine fibre optic cable"

barre Port Grimaud

Thanks to José CHESNOY :

       José CHESNOY has a PhD in Physical Sciences and is an independent expert on submarine cable technology and ecosystem, having worked at the CNRS, then at the Alcatel Research Centre. He was Technical Director of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks until 2014. A member of the Association des Amis des Cables Sous-Marins, he published a very interesting article on this world premiere, between Antibes and Port Grimaud, in n°145 of the magazine 'Les Cahiers de la FNARH' in January 2022. ( FNARH : National Federation of Associations of Postal and Orange Employees for Historical Research).
       José CHESNOY is a resident of the lake city and was kind enough to let me know about this world first for PORT GRIMAUD.


       Submarine cables have always played an essential role in the exchange of information within the Mediterranean basin but also between Europe and the East and between Europe and South-East Asia. The first two submarine cables between Calais and Dover, marking the beginning of submarine telecommunications, were laid in 1850 and 1851. In 1950, the French Administration laid a prototype link with a repeater between Cannes and Nice. It allowed the operation of 4 telephone circuits and was in operation until 1958.

       Three major eras have marked the history of information exchange and underwater telecommunications :
- 1850 - 1960 : This is the era of the telegraph cable and the transmission of messages
- 1850 - 1998 : This is the era of the telephone coaxial and telephone exchanges
- Since 1988 : This is the era of fibre optics and multimedia telecommunications.

       From 1980 onwards, all the major industrial countries began experimenting with the first fibre optic links. France successively installed two experimental links to qualify all types of cable :
- Between Cagnes and Juan les Pins in 1982,
- Between Antibes and PORT GRIMAUD in 1984, with 2 repeaters.

Article on Var-Matin :

A first between Antibes and Port Grimaud
Var-Matin of April 18, 1984
barre Port Grimaud

Video on YouTube:

     A video in French on YouTube, created by the PTT (now Orange), humorously discusses this world first of a repeated submarine fiber optic cable between Antibes and Port Grimaud. This video was extracted from a VHS tape.

     This film announces that the French telecommunications operator PTT has laid the first functional submarine optical cable with two optical repeaters and a single-mode optical cable with two pairs of fibers with its industrial partners Alcatel CIT and Cable de Lyon. This demonstration was realized more than one year before AT&T which laid Optican-1 in the Canary Islands in September 1985, without forgetting UK-Belgium VI laid by STC in the United Kingdom.

The article by José CHESNOY :

barre Port Grimaud

     This cable is no longer in use today but is still in place. It started from the beach of PG2, the closest place to the telephone exchange at the entrance of the city.
     We can see it sometimes when the sea is very clear.

barre Port Grimaud

  the work of François SPOERRY...

© Yves Lhermitte 2023   Reproduction prohibited without permission...