This week is the 150th anniversary of the world’s first successful transatlantic cable.

The cable ran from Valentia Island in Ireland to Heart’s Content in Newfoundland.

It’s an important event in the history of our industry. Before these cables, the fastest messages took several days to cross the Atlantic by ship.

And the first transatlantic cable, which went into operation in 1858, failed within a few weeks.

[Related story: The amazing story of the transatlantic telegraph cable]

It’s also a major event in our history.

Cromwell Fleetwood Varley helped lay the cable and was also chief engineer at the Electric and International Telegraph Company – BT’s precursor.

And the cable connected into our inland telegraph network.

Valentia Island is hosting a festival until July 17 to mark the milestone, involving fireworks, a celebration dinner, lectures and robotic workshops for children.

We sponsored the opening dinner.

We’re also supporting the Island development committee’s bid to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Find out more about BT's history at