The Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition: A central point of contact for cable landings in the Netherlands

Contributed Article

The Netherlands is known as an important digital hub. There is a very high density of datacenters, a strong digital economy, and an excellent digital infrastructure, both by sea and by land to the European hinterland. To emphasise and strengthen this position as a digital hub, the Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition* was founded in early 2023

Unique support for landing sea cables in the Netherlands

The coalition is a unique public-private partnership with partners from the business community, knowledge institutions and government. Different categories of stakeholders are represented: infrastructure, datacenters, knowledge institutes, wholesale end users and different levels of government. The coalition supports new cable initiatives by sharing knowledge about the Dutch ecosystem, connecting with relevant parties and navigating the regulatory and licensing system in the Netherlands.

Despite the fact that it is a relatively new coalition, great developments are already underway. Martin Prins, the ambassador of the Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition (pictured), says: ‘We are currently working on cable routes with various consortia. As a coalition, we help, for example, to make it easier to obtain permits and establish landings. We work together with the responsible authorities in the Netherlands.’

For example, the coalition is in discussions with FNF, with the ambition to make a special maritime cable landing: the first direct digital route from Asia, along North America to Central Europe.

Streamlining and lowering the threshold for landing

In addition to directly assisting international consortia, the coalition is also actively working on projects in the Netherlands that make landing simple and attractive. For example, work is being done to set up one central coordination point, in order to place all information provision and licensing under one process coordinator and thus significantly shorten application procedures.

The coalition is also investigating the possibilities for central Cable Landing Stations at sea, connecting data cables with energy cables and reusing existing routes and facilities of cables that are being phased out. All these projects are examples of simplification of the landing process and the power of public-private partnerships.

Peter van Burgel, CEO of AMS-IX: “The Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition is undertaking significant steps in further facilitating submarine cable systems to the Netherlands. We are happy that we are actively collaborating on further strengthening the leading position of the Netherlands as digital hub and digital gateway to Europe.”

The Dutch government is ‘future-focused and supportive’

Landing and properly maintaining sea cables is also on the political agenda. The Dutch government emphasizes that we should not take the digital infrastructure, including maritime cables, for granted.  It requires continuous efforts from both companies and the government to keep the digital infrastructure innovative, high-quality, affordable, resilient, safe and sustainable.

“The Dutch government’s plan is to invest more in digital infrastructure in the coming years,” says Martin Prins. ‘That is of course a positive development for us, because we want to continue to encourage submarine cable landings. But it is also a good time for external parties to make landings.’

Looking forward to meeting you at Submarine Networks

Martin Prins, together with his colleagues Aldert de Jongste (coalition strategist) and Björn Oosterwijk (Project Advisor), will be present at the Submarine Networks EMEA conference in London, May 2024. During the News in Brief session, Martin will further discuss the coalition and the proposition of the Netherlands. ‘It is clear that the Netherlands is “open for business”. We will introduce our coalition to the international submarine cable community and inform interested parties about the possibilities that the Netherlands and the Subsea Cable Coalition can offer.’

*The Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition is a collaboration of: ABN AMRO, AMS-IX, Digital Realty, Dutch Datacenter Association (DDA), Equinix, Eurofiber, Fiber Carrier Association (FCA), the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate,, InnovationQuarter, Liberty Global, Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), NL-IX, Relined, Rijkswaterstaat, Stichting DiNL, Stratix and SURF.

Join the Dutch Subsea Cable Coalition at Stand 13 at this year’s Submarine Networks EMEA conference! Get your tickets today

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