International Cable Protection Committee

Sharing the seabed in harmony with others

The ICPC has more than 200 MEMBERS from over 70 COUNTRIES and has the vision to be the recognised Guardian of Subsea Cable Infrastructure, providing leadership, guidance and a voice for the industry. The ICPC ACHIEVEMENTS and activities advance the ICPC towards this vision.
  • International Cable Protection Committee represents 98% of the world's subsea telecom cables
  • Leading HVDC Power Cable Owners, Offshore Renewables developers are members of the ICPC
  • Cable ship owners, operators, cable manufacturers and others involved in the industry are members
  • Government membership allows decision makers and regulators to engage with industry and share technical expertise

Latest News

International Cable Protection Committee Announces Dates for the 2024 Plenary

Thursday, 03 August 2023

The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) is pleased to announce the 2024 ICPC Plenary will be held in Singapore at the Orchard Hotel from 30 April – 2 May 2024.

After holding a very successful Plenary this past April in Spain, next year the ICPC will bring the submarine cable community together once again, but this time in the Southeast Asia region. Details such as hotel reservations and registrations, will be issued in due course, but this forthcoming November, ICPC will release its Plenary Call for Papers along with the event’s theme and suggested topics for abstract submissions. Abstracts will be considered from both Member and non-Member organisations including the cable industry, academics, and the science and legal communities.

Referring to the recent 2023 Plenary, Mr Graham Evans (ICPC Chair), remarked: ‘With a record-setting number of delegates in ICPC’s Plenary history, it was wonderful to hold an in-person event under the umbrella topic of submarine cable protection and security worldwide after a few years in a virtual setting. The event in Spain was outstanding and we expect an even better event in Singapore.’

Expanding upon the importance of being involved in the ICPC and attending its annual plenaries, Mr Ryan Wopschall (ICPC General Manager), stated: ‘Membership continues to grow as interest in this industry persists to evolve, while new areas of focus call for recommendations, outreach and engagement. Next year, we look forward to hearing from familiar faces (as well as new ones) discussing and exchanging vital information relevant to our undersea community.’

About the ICPC Plenary. The Plenary offers participants the opportunity to enhance their industry knowledge by networking with colleagues and customers as well as meeting with exhibitors who showcase their products and services. Delegates will witness an agenda full of pertinent presentations, round table debates and interviews. Current ICPC Members, guest observers and invited speakers from around the world will gather under one roof for three days to listen, learn, and discuss from a diverse set of topics about the vital importance of submarine power and fibre optic cables and their protection worldwide.

International Cable Protection Committee Welcomes New Marine Biodiversity Treaty, Calls on All Parties to Promote Regulatory Certainty and Network Resilience

Tuesday, 27 June 2023

The International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) welcomes the formal adoption on 19 June 2023 of a new international treaty on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (the ‘BBNJ treaty’). The ICPC calls on all parties to implement the treaty to promote regulatory certainty and resilience for submarine cables and recognise them as critical infrastructure and a sustainable use of the oceans, and it commits to work with them to achieve that objective. The ICPC congratulates the negotiators on the BBNJ treaty and offers its particular thanks to the treaty conference President, Ambassador Rena Lee of Singapore, for her leadership and inclusion of non-governmental organisations such as the ICPC in these negotiations.

Voice of submarine cable industry in the negotiations. The ICPC is the premier global organisation dedicated to protecting submarine cables from natural and human risks of damage and promoting resilience of submarine cable networks. It participated in the treaty conference and the preparatory work that proceeded it in order to provide negotiators with scientific, technical, and practical information about submarine cables that would enhance their understanding and improve the text. The ICPC will not be a party to the treaty, as it is not a state.

Preserving UNCLOS freedoms and protections for the world’s Internet infrastructure. In the negotiations, the ICPC sought to ensure that the BBNJ treaty preserved the submarine cable freedoms and cable protection provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). UNCLOS expressly recognised the importance of promoting international communications, and it has provided a stable legal environment that has fostered the deployment of more than 400 submarine telecommunications cables that connect most of the world’s developed and developing coastal states to provide approximately 99 percent of the world’s internet, voice, and data connectivity.

A sustainable use of the oceans. Submarine telecommunications cables support the full range of human activity, including electronic commerce, financial transactions, tele-health, tele-education, social and cultural exchanges, scientific and climate-change observation, disaster warning, government services, and security. Extensive peer-reviewed scientific research shows that submarine cable installation and repair have a neutral-to-benign environmental impact on the marine environment in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Promoting regulatory certainty and resilience in treaty implementation. It is critical that implementation of the BBNJ treaty result in regulatory certainty, in order to promote the timely installation and repair of this long-term fixed telecommunications infrastructure. Implementation must also promote resilience, with a multiplicity of geographically diverse, efficient, and secure submarine cable routes that ensure continuity of communications for the states and people they connect. The BBNJ treaty, however, contains very general language, and its institutions have yet to be established. The ICPC therefore seeks to work with these parties and the institutions (once they are established) to achieve outcomes in three principal areas.
  • Environmental impact assessments (EIAs). The ICPC believes that submarine cable installation and repair will fall below the BBNJ treaty thresholds that would trigger additional environmental scrutiny (either through an initial vetting process known as ‘screening’ or more formal EIAs). But states and the new Scientific and Technical Body (STB) to be established under the treaty will need to apply the best available science and traditional knowledge to reach that conclusion. The ICPC supports the development by the STB of a presumptive list of marine activities that would not require an EIA, and the inclusion of submarine cable installation on such a list. The ICPC also seeks to confirm the understanding that repairs are excluded from the scope of ‘planned activities’ that could require screening or a potential EIA. The ICPC and its members therefore seek to participate in processes at the national level and in treaty institutions to confirm these understandings and, ultimately, to ensure timely and predictable permitting of new submarine cables and repairs of existing ones.
  • Area-based management tools and marine protected areas (ABMTs/MPAs). To promote network resilience by preserving the ability to route new submarine cables securely and efficiently and conduct timely repair existing cables, the ICPC and its members seek to engage with states and treaty institutions in all phases of establishment and implementation of ABMTs/MPAs. In all phases, the ICPC and its members seek to ensure the use of the existing and extensive scientific research on the environmental characteristics of cables. Ultimately, the ICPC believes that submarine cables and new ABMTs/MPAs will coexist in areas beyond national jurisdiction, just as they already do in existing marine protected areas in the territorial seas, exclusive economic zones, and continental shelf areas of coastal states.
  • Institutional considerations. The ICPC seeks to ensure that the institutions and processes established under the BBNJ treaty address submarine cable activities and infrastructure and that the ICPC—consistent with the treaty’s transparency provisions—be permitted to participate and speak in such processes. It also seeks the inclusion of individuals with submarine cable technical expertise on the STB’s roster of experts.
The ICPC and its members remain committed to serving as a resource for states, BBNJ institutions, and stakeholders and to participate in the processes to be established by it.

International Cable Protection Committee Sponsors 2023 Rhodes Academy-ICPC Submarine Cables Writing Competition

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

Each year, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) sponsors the Rhodes Academy-ICPC Submarine Cables Writing Award for a deserving paper addressing submarine cables and their relationship with the law of the sea. With the award, the ICPC seeks to foster scholarship regarding submarine cables and the law of the sea and promote the rule of law as applied to submarine cables. In 2022, the selection jury chose Ms. Sophie Ryan as the winner for her paper ‘Submarine Cables and Belligerent Rights in Armed Conflict.’

Rhodes Academy. Each year, the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy brings together approximately 50 mid-career professionals from around the world to study and learn from leading ocean law and science scholars, judges, and practitioners (including ICPC representatives) about the law of the sea and its key legal instrument, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNLCOS). It is organised by a consortium of research universities and institutes, led by the University of New Hampshire. The Rhodes Academy’s twenty-sixth session will convene in Greece from 2-21 July 2023. Numerous students affiliated with ICPC Members have graduated from the Rhodes Academy. The ICPC is proud to support the Rhodes Academy. For more information about the Rhodes Academy (including application procedures), see

The Award. The award winner will receive either guaranteed admission and a full scholarship (covering the attendance fee, travel expenses, and shared hotel room) to a future Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, or for a graduate of the Rhodes Academy Graduate from a prior year, a cash award of GB £4,500. The winner will also be invited to speak at a future ICPC Plenary meeting.

Eligibility and Process. The Rhodes Academy-ICPC Submarine Cables Writing Award is open to: any person aspiring to attend the Rhodes Academy (the candidate must meet the admissions requirements); a Rhodes Academy Graduate from a prior year. Papers should be suitable for publication in a scholarly international law journal and must consist of 7,500 – 10,000 words (excluding footnotes). To register to compete for the award, interested candidates should send an abstract (no more than 300 words) and a short biography to the Centre for International Law (CIL) at the National University of Singapore,, which administers the competition on behalf of ICPC and the Rhodes Academy. Papers must be submitted to CIL, also at, no later than 28 April 2023. Papers will be reviewed anonymously by the selection jury, consisting of three members designated by the Rhodes Academy and one by the ICPC.

About the ICPC: The ICPC is the world’s premier submarine cable protection organisation. It was formed in 1958 to promote the protection of international submarine cables—the infrastructure of the Internet—against human made and natural hazards. It provides a forum for the exchange of technical, legal and environmental information about submarine cables and engages with stakeholders and governments globally to promote submarine cable protection. The ICPC has over 190 Members from 69 nations, including cable operators, owners, manufacturers, industry service providers, as well as governments. For further information about the ICPC, see and

ICPC Contact:
Kent Bressie, International Law Adviser, ICPC
+1 202 730 1337

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