Scottish Futures Trust, with Pioneer Consulting and FarrPoint, releases ‘North-Eastern Scotland: Subsea Connectivity Feasibility Study’

The report lays logistical groundwork for a Scottish subsea telecom cable landing

EDINBURGH, June 29, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Pioneer Consulting, the full-service submarine fiber optic telecommunications consulting and project management company, partnered with UK connectivity consultancy FarrPoint to release a new report: “North-Eastern Scotland: Subsea Connectivity Feasibility Study.” Pioneer Consulting and FarrPoint were contracted by infrastructure experts, the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) to investigate the cost, complexity, and deliverability of a number of subsea fiber options from the north coast of Scotland to Edinburgh.

SFT’s “Host in Scotland” program aims to attract new international subsea fiber and data center infrastructure to Scotland. The northernmost coast of Scotland offers immense capacity for tidal power generation. One option to capitalize on this potential, while supporting the nationwide growth of technologies such as 5G, AR/AI and IoT, is to build a data center. This new report explores the feasibility of connecting such a northern data center to Edinburgh via telecommunications cables, and analyzes the cost, complexity and deliverability differential between a terrestrial route and subsea options.

The 74-page report, which is now available to the public on the Host in Scotland website (, includes overviews of cable construction options and trends, a review of existing infrastructure and potential landing partners, and analysis of marine obstructions – from hard constraints like shipwrecks and energy installations, to soft constraints like commercial fishing zones and nature conservation areas. The report includes recommendations for the design and construction of optimal routes, including potential build schedules and suppliers. It also includes an appendix containing carbon emissions calculations for all potential builds, an element that has not been previously explored.

“This report demonstrates that including subsea portions can significantly reduce the cost of an otherwise terrestrial cable route,” said Iain Ritson, Director of Client Solutions at Pioneer Consulting. “We hope this study helps inform and empower the country’s efforts to encourage more direct international fiber-optic connectivity for Scotland as the nation boosts its support of bandwidth-heavy technologies.”

“This was a really interesting project to undertake, as it investigates the options for using subsea cables to improve the resilience of connectivity in Scotland and provide added routes into the more rural areas,” said Andrew Muir, CEO of FarrPoint. “The analysis we completed in partnership with Pioneer Consulting provided all the detail required to fully understand the options, deployment considerations, and costs. This is the first Scottish subsea connectivity infrastructure report that includes the carbon emission calculations for such a build. With tight net-zero targets ahead, such assessments should become an essential part of any infrastructure consideration.”

James King, Chairman of Host in Scotland, said "This report adds to the body of information that will be utilized in order to develop a subsea cable landing plan for Scotland as set out in the Scottish Government's recently published ‘Green Datacentres and Digital Connectivity - a Vision and Action Plan for Scotland’ and we look forward to developing our ideas further in the coming months."

The report can be accessed here: 

About Pioneer Consulting
Pioneer Consulting offers a comprehensive set of services for the submarine fiber optic telecommunications system industry. The company provides clients with valuable technical and commercial insight into the challenging issues facing this unique industry. Recognizing the diverse nature of the submarine telecommunications marketplace, Pioneer Consulting has built a team of industry-leading experts who are able to work across traditional boundaries and provide businesses with the strategic intelligence and operational skills needed to make long-term engineering and business decisions and deliver results. To learn more about the services Pioneer Consulting offers, please visit:

About FarrPoint
FarrPoint is an independent technology consultancy which specializes in digital connectivity.
FarrPoint provides independent advice on the commercial and technical considerations of the design of national and regional connectivity strategies, technical planning and modelling, procurement support and implementation assurance. Its team includes a mix of consulting technologists, economists, and data scientists who work together to provide experience, expertise, and complementary resources to clients in the public and private sectors. Find out more about FarrPoint and its services at

About the Scottish Futures Trust
Established by Scottish Government as a center of infrastructure expertise, the Scottish Futures Trust provides additional skills, resources, and knowledge to public sector organizations, helping them plan, fund, deliver, and manage their infrastructure and buildings better. 

About Host in Scotland
SFT’s “Host in Scotland” program was created in 2017 as an umbrella organization to represent and promote the interests of the Scottish data center industry. Its aim is to promote new investment in the sector, be it from existing operators seeking to expand or new entrants to Scotland. 

Media Contact:
Ariane Mandell
Trevi Communications

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at