Despite requiring financial assistance from the government, the company which manages Iceland’s connection to the rest of the internet says there was no danger the country would have been cut off.
Farice maintains the internet lines which connect Iceland to Europe. Its largest shareholders are the national power company Landsvirkjun, Arion Bank and the Icelandic government. Vísir reports that Farice did not have the available funds to make a payment on a 226.5 million ISK loan, requiring the government to step in and make the payment themselves.
The company has actually been having difficulties with liquid assets since at least 2010, and has tried multiple strategies to balance things out. Ultimately, they needed to turn to the government. Despite this, Farice director Ómar Benediktsson told reporters that there was never any danger that failure to make the payment would have resulted in Iceland’s internet being cut off.
What exactly would happen if Farice did not make the payment is unclear. Ómar contends that it would be in the best interests of numerous parties – in particular businesses both foreign and domestic – for Iceland’s internet access to remain open. He added that the government is ultimately responsible for maintaining the connection.