International Cable Protection Committee


Sharing the seabed in harmony with others



The International Cable Protection Committee represents 97% of the world’s subsea telecom cables.


The ICPC has more than 175 MEMBERS in over 60 COUNTRIES and has the vision of being the premier international submarine cable authority through providing leadership, knowledge and guidance on issues related to submarine cable security and reliability.



Latest News

2019 ICPC Plenary: History Made in San Diego, California

Thursday, 06 June 2019



LYMINGTON, United Kingdom—Under the theme ‘Critical Infrastructure across the Oceans—protecting submarine cables and the marine environment,’ the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) held its largest Plenary meeting in the organisation’s history with a diverse submarine cables and related industry audience of about 150 delegates from 14-16 May 2019 in San Diego, California USA.

The annual ICPC Plenary was an excellent opportunity to engage with submarine cable owners, suppliers, installers, surveyors, academics and service providers regarding the planning, installation, operation, protection and maintenance of submarine telecommunications and power cables worldwide.

Day 1 included two presentations focused on offshore wind energy and its interaction with other seabed users. Throughout the day, presentations ranged from submarine cable security, repair times, natural hazards, cable burial and growing concerns about deep seabed mining with the potential to harm existing submarine cable networks. Presentations covering the ongoing Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) negotiations were followed by a lively question and answer session. Day 2 covered topics such as armour wire protection for submarine cables, distributed fibre sensing, marine maintenance and submarine cable law. Day 3 included insightful presentations discussing the protection of marine cultural heritage and natural resources, enhancing network resilience and the coexistence of offshore energy and submarine cables. Towards the end of day, the winner of the ICPC-sponsored 2018 Rhodes Academy submarine cables writing contest, presented: “Protection of Submarine Cables against Acts of Terrorism.”

Newly elected ICPC Chairman, Malcom Eccles of Basslink reacted: ‘This year’s Plenary was an outstanding event. The agenda was full of diverse subject matter from distinguished invited speakers and experts from ICPC Member organisations. I am very proud to be part of a group of individuals who all want the same thing—the protection of submarine cables worldwide from both man-made and natural hazards.”

The 2019 Plenary was also a place to recognise the outgoing ICPC Marine Environmental Adviser, Professor Lionel Carter for his 16 years of outstanding service to the submarine cable community. After a standing ovation from the delegation, Lionel ‘passed the baton’ to newly appointed Dr Michael Clare (National Oceanography Centre Southampton) who took up the role on 1 June 2019. During the Plenary, Dr Clare also presented: “New direct measurements of powerful seafloor hazards provide insights for cable routing and design.”

If you were unable to attend the 2019 ICPC Plenary, please visit the 2019 Plenary Highlights page. If interested in participating in next year’s ICPC Plenary, to be held in Spain, be sure to submit an abstract in response to the ICPC Plenary Call for Papers that will be issued later this year.

ICLA Update: Malaysia Exempts Cable Ships Conducting Repairs from Cabotage Restrictions (17 April 2019)

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Malaysia’s Minister of Transport has formally exempted cable ships conducting repairs in Malaysian waters from cabotage restrictions under Malaysia’s Merchant Shipping Ordinance (1952). Absent this relief, cable owners and maintenance authorities would be required to use a Malaysian-flagged ship for such repairs. The ICPC welcomes this development, for which it and its members have advocated directly and within ASEAN. Malaysia’s action runs counter to the regional trend of more burdensome cabotage restrictions. For further information and context, please see the Transport Minister’s order [?] and related news articles [?].

Malaysia Merchant Shipping Ordinance - Cable Ship Exemption
Adobe Acrobat Document (.pdf) - 375 KB

The ICPC again sponsors Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Each year, the International Cable Protection Committee (ICPC) sponsors the Rhodes Academy 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 2018, the selection jury chose Ms. Liao Xuexia of China as the winner for her paper titled: “Protection of Submarine Cables against Acts of Terrorism.”

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 (UNCLOS). It is organised by a consortium of research universities and institutes and led by the University of Virginia. The Rhodes Academy’s twenty-fourth session will convene from 30 June to 19 July 2019, in Rhodes, Greece. Numerous students affiliated with ICPC Members have graduated from the Rhodes Academy and the ICPC is proud to support the program. For more information about the Rhodes Academy (including application procedures), visit: https://colp.virginia.edu/Rhodesacademy.

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 the 2019 Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy, or for a graduate of the Rhodes Academy from a prior year, the winning recipient will receive a cash award of £4,500. The winner will also be invited to speak at the ICPC Plenary meeting in 2020.

Eligibility and Process. The Rhodes Academy Submarine Cables Writing Award is open to any person aspiring to attend the Rhodes Academy (the candidate must meet the admissions requirements) or 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, lawtmd@nus.edu.sg, which administers the competition on behalf of ICPC and the Rhodes Academy. Papers must be submitted to CIL via: lawtmd@nus.edu.sg no later than 1 April 2019. Papers will be reviewed anonymously by the selection jury, consisting of two members designated by the Rhodes Academy and one by the ICPC. The Jury will announce the award winner by 1 May 2019.








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