Telecommunications industry supports the treaty because of its valuable support for underseas cables
And the Treaty is also about Telecommunications. The treaty provides a legal framework to lay and protect submarine cables. I don’t need to tell most people about how critical the Internet is to our economy and national security. We need to put ourselves on the best footing possible to protect those cables through which the Internet flows, and the treaty does that.
That’s why AT&T, Verizon, Level 3, and others, support this Treaty. Again, don’t take my word for it. In a recent letter, AT&T explained that:
“[S]ubmarine cables provide backbone international transmission facilities for the global internet, electronic commerce and other international voice and data communications services that are major drivers of the 21st Century global information-based economy….[I]t has never been more important to our U.S. economic infrastructure, and our participation in the global economy, to strengthen the protection and reliability of international submarine cables. The Law of the Sea Convention, particularly as assisted by the enforcement mechanisms available to parties under Article 297, is a critical element of this protection.”
Currently the vital U.S. underseas cable industry has to rely on the outdated 1884 telegraph treaty for its legal basis when defending its rights to lay, maintain, and repair underseas cables. U.S. ratification of UNCLOS would better protect U.S. companies’ existing cable systems and foster additional investments by giving telecommunications the legal certainty to their claims that they need.