Strong trends featuring, amongst other things, condominium cables, open systems technology and the arrival of non-traditional players are changing the way projects are financed and, potentially, regulated.  At the same time, shifting geopolitical forces are directly impacting subsea projects.

This Masterclass will discuss financing trends and related legal and commercial issues, the extent to which regulation may impact or support the protection of and access to systems and recent regulatory developments.

The format of the Masterclass will be a mix of presentation and panel discussion featuring, in addition to experienced legal practitioners in the sector, representatives from leading industry stakeholders.

The Masterclass will cover the following topic areas and questions:

  • The distinctions in a subsea cable build from other infrastructure projects – how these can impact financing opportunities.
  • Are cable systems able to comply with standard project finance covenants and ratios?
  • Private equity houses and infrastructure funds are engaging in the sector; what investment criteria do such institutions typically apply?
  • Do cable systems need to adjust established operational models to meet such criteria?
  • To what extent does vendor financing continue to be offered to system operators? Is there scope for asset financing, eg of the cable or other equipment? What are the legal issues or concerns with asset financing?

Access and threats to cables: role of regulation

  • Submarine cable systems are generally recognized as critical communications infrastructure – but are they adequately protected under existing law and regulation against cyberattack?
  • In the face of perceived cybersecurity concerns will we see more data localization requirements? Will operators be required to implement more robust cybersecurity protections?
  • Recent trends in foreign investment controls (such as CFIUS). Will such controls likely increase in the face of perceived security threats?
  • Is there a risk of greater national registration requirements – such as seen in the previously threatened application in the US of the Jones Act?
  • Twenty years or so ago, the original PTT club cables were regulated to some extent to allow access to other operators. Will new regulation be required to allow access to a new generation of operators/customers?

Law of the sea – recent developments

Principal Instructor, Legal and Regulatory Developments
Stuart Blythe, Partner
CMS Cameron McKenna


Instructor, Legal and Regulatory Developments
Andrew Lipman, Partner
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Andrew D. Lipman is a Partner at Morgan Lewis and practices in most aspects of communications law and related fields, including regulatory, transactional, litigation, legislative, and land use. Andy’s clients in the private and public sectors include those in the areas of local, long distance, and international telephone common carriage; Internet services and technologies; conventional and emerging wireless services; satellite services; broadcasting; competitive video services; telecommunications equipment manufacturing; and other high-technology applications. Additionally, he manages privatizations of telecommunications carriers in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.  To open the US local telephone market to competition, Andy has been involved in most new legal and regulatory policies at the Federal Communications Commission, at state public service commissions, in Congress, and before courts. He helped shape crucial provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and used similar approaches to promote the opening of foreign markets. He also obtained one of the first competitive local service and interconnection agreements in continental Europe and the first competitive fiber network application in Japan.