The laying of submarine cables began in France in the late nineteenth century.

In operation since the mid-nineteenth century, the submarine cable industry FCR – France Cables and Radio – became a 100% subsidiary of Orange Group in 1999. In October 2010, Orange takes control of Elettra, a subsidiary of Telecom Italia. Its management is delegated to Orange Marine, which now operates 6 cable ships from marine bases or from foreign ports.
In 2013, the company changed its name for Orange Marine. CEO of Orange Marine and Elettra is Didier Dillard. The Orange Marine fleet is one of the most experienced in the world and represents 15% of the world fleet.
Orange Marine has laid almost 190,000 kilometers of submarine cables in all oceans, including 160,000 of fibre cables.
Cable ship Vercors, aka Chamarel, has laid 120,000 km of cable on her own, the equivalent of three times around the Earth, a world record.

A brief history of submarine cables

1850-1933: binary telegraph cables of pure copper, insulated with gutta-percha (natural insulator)
1933-1955: coaxial telegraph cables, discovery of polyethylene used as new insulator
1955-1988: coaxial telephone cables, development of signal amplifiers (repeaters)
1988-today: digital cables, international telecommunications networks support (Internet, telephony, digital TV).

Key dates and emblematic cables: