Laser Light selects Dover for its global network operation centre

Locate in Kent has announced that global optical services business Laser Light Companies has selected Dover in Kent for its new UK-based global network operation and development facility.

Known as The HALO Centre, UK, this facility will be one of five planned worldwide to serve as a critical element of Laser Light’s global data services platform.

Laser Light’s next-generation, software-defined platform – a converged network of networks – will comprise subsea cable, fibre and all optical satellites. These will all operate as one, enabling Laser Light to “revolutionise” how data is originated, managed and consumed globally, regionally and locally.

Additional activities resident at the HALO Centre in Dover will be advanced laser systems development and operating analytics, driven through local and regional partnerships and demonstrations.

Locate in Kent, the inward investment promotion agency for Kent and Medway, has worked closely with the economic development team at Dover District Council and Laser Light to secure a suitable site, including TechFort at the Citadel in Dover.

The new facility is expected to be approximately 15,000 square feet in size and to result in at least 80 new jobs being created over the next three years.

Laser Light is also seeking partnerships with other UK government agencies, particularly the Met Office, as well as local academic institutions interested in optical (laser) communications research, development and employee training.

Bob Brumley, group chairman and CEO of Laser Light, said: “We have big plans for our site in Kent. Our immediate priority is to get our ground networking Beta trial up and running, with real traffic between the Kent site and our other Beta sites worldwide, as soon as we can.

“We also expect to learn a lot about data origination/consumption patterns amongst communities in the UK and Europe, as well as our other Beta sites in Africa, Latin America, the US, and Australia.

“Our global search drew us to South East England and the Locate in Kent team demonstrated that Kent is the right location in the UK where we can achieve all of our goals.

“Each time my team visited and talked with the team from Locate in Kent, including most recently last month, we just became more and more convinced that this was the right decision to make. I’m delighted at the progress we are making, identifying a great site that will support our global ambitions.”

Simon Ryan, investment director at Locate in Kent, added: “We’re delighted to be part of the team that has secured such a future-proofed business investment for the Kent and Medway region.

“We faced some stiff global competition, but at the end of the day, Kent’s access to global fibre, unencumbered air space and our partnership approach to achieving their success sealed the deal.

“We’ve been working closely with Bob and his UK team, supporting through its location validation, system development and finally their site selection.

“I’m convinced they could be Kent’s first privately held startup company with a value of over $1 billion. There’s a lot more to come, but it’s fantastic to reach this stage at last.”

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