History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
|1982 Burgau-Dakar and 1983 Burgau-Arzila Cables|
In the early 1980s, Burgau, a fishing village in the Algarve region of Portugal now mostly known for tourism, became the landing the site of two cables.
In 1982 Section 2 of the ATLANTIS cable was laid from Dakar, Senegal to Burgau, the complete route being Brazil-Senegal-Portugal. The cable was made by Câbles de Lyon; Alcatel manufactured the repeaters. Laid by CS Vercors for CPRM/Embratel, the system length was 1570 nm and the cable provided 2580 x 4 kHz channels. This section of the cable was commemorated by a medal, the reverse showing a map of the route:
In 1983 ATLAS was laid from Burgau to Arzila/Asilah, Morocco, also by CS Vercors. The cable was made by Câbles de Lyon for CPRM - MATELCA; system length was 193 nm. and the cable provided 1260 x 4kHz channels. This cable also had a commemorative meda; in this case the obverse shows the routel.
ATLAS was withdrawn from service in 1999.
While the cables are no longer in service, a sign on the beach at Burgau warns passing ships of their location, and three cables may be seen running down into the water.
The cables are protected at the shore by an outer casing of interlocking cast-iron cylinders, of about 6" diameter. This type of pipe may be seen at about 13 minutes into the film on the 1964 laying of the Hawaii-Japan cable, TPC-1, on the CS Long Lines page, where it was used to protect the shore end from coral at Midway Island.
In his excellent article on the FLAG cable system, Mother Earth Mother Board, Neal Stephenson also remarks on these cylinders:
Burgau photographs courtesy of and copyright © 2010 Bob Rogers, by whose kind permission they appear here.
Last revised: 23 December, 2012