Deployment work on a new fibre-optic cable between Japan and the UK has commenced.
After a number of years of planning, the construction process on the 15,700km subsea link has got underway.
The £556 million Arctic Fibre network is designed to deliver low-latency speeds of 24Tb, vastly improving connectivity between Western Europe and the Far East.
It should reach land in County Cork in southern Ireland and also at Highbridge in Somerset, in the south-west of England.
The Arctic Fibre cable will also boost broadband speeds in parts of the US - including Alaska - and Canada, benefitting a number of remote communities in northern areas.
According to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the final route of the cable will be determined in mid-2015.
Cable ships moving at an average speed of 2km/ph will plough a trench to lay the main subsea cable. It is hoped the Arctic Fibre link will be fully operational by late 2016.