What It Means To Be A “Carriers’ Carrier”

One-On-One with Jim Fagan Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Comms

How combining experience in network construction and operations with a desire for neutrality paves the way for new levels of interconnection.

InterGlobix Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jasmine Bedi,  sat down in conversation with Jim Fagan, CEO of Aqua Comms, and discussed the evolution of Aqua Comms, why being a “carriers’ carrier” is increasingly important for the industry, and what lies ahead for interconnectivity.

You have recently joined Aqua Comms as the new CEO. How has your first month been, what attracted you to the role, and what are your top priorities in 2023?

This first month has been fabulous, because it has reinforced everything that attracted me to the role by tenfold. I’ve been in the industry a long time: I’ve competed against Aqua Comms, I’ve cooperated with Aqua Comms, and I know a lot of the people that work here. I have always been very impressed with their strategy and success in the Atlantic market, which is one of the toughest markets in this space to do business in. So, I knew before joining that there was a high caliber team in place, with a great business and customer set, and with the chance of expansion to create the world’s leading subsea network. That’s exactly what first attracted me to the role—the current excellence and the future potential—and the first month has validated that even further. We have a tremendous team and a great asset base, with a great potential for growth and the opportunity really to take advantage of some gaps in the market that will put us in an excellent place for the future.

Previously, I was with Global Cloud Xchange as their Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer, and prior to that I worked at PacNet in the Pacific, running their managed services team as well as all of their data center business. I was part of the team involved with the sale of PacNet to Telstra, and while at Telstra, I had various roles. Being responsible for their subsea and data center product set as well as their domestic cloud product and other portfolios really gave me a deep expertise across networks, into the data centers, and up into the cloud, which is ideal for this position at Aqua Comms.

Your appointment comes at a pivotal time for Aqua Comms as it moves from almost a decade of construction into a new modus operandi as a “carriers’ carrier” specializing in operations and maintenance. How does the company plan to embrace this new era?

It’s fantastic that the company has such strong DNA in construction, operations, and how to pull networks together. The previous model made sense for the Atlantic market at the time, but the industry has evolved—a lot of projects are now led by major hyperscalers, and subsea fiber pair counts have gone up tremendously, which brings a great opportunity to obtain spare capacity on the new systems, which in turn we can use to build out our global network. This approach enables us to utilize the experience we have in operations and customer relationships to connect our customers to some of the major growing data markets outside the Atlantic. So, we plan to embrace the new era by taking advantage of the current environment while still keeping true to our core genetics of being an incredible builder and operator, because it is the foundation of our business that allows us to be an industry leader.

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About Jim Fagan

Jim Fagan is a telecoms and technology veteran with more than 25 years’ experience at organizations varying from small private/public ventures to private equity owned and large publicly traded multinational corporations across the US, EMEA, and APAC regions.

During his career, Fagan has held various cross-functional executive roles leveraging his strong financial background coupled with deep technical product, operational, sales, and general management expertise.

Prior to joining Aqua Comms, Fagan was the Chief Revenue Officer for Global Cloud Xchange. Previous roles include being the executive responsible for Global Connectivity & Platforms at Telstra, President of Managed Services at PacNet, and Managing Director of APAC at Rackspace.