From Iceland — Submarine Cable Will Give Iceland Direct Telecommunications Access to Japan

Submarine Cable Will Give Iceland Direct Telecommunications Access to Japan

Published July 13, 2022

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An Alaska-based company is laying a giant submarine cable from Japan to Ireland that will directly connect to Iceland, reports Fréttablaðið. This would open up opportunities and markets for Icelandic data centers in East Asia.

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“The opportunity for us is that the cable lands in the same place in Ireland as our cable,” says Þorvarður Sveinsson, CEO of telecommunications provider Farice. “This is a great way for us to get a direct connection to Japan.”

There have long been ideas for laying a cable from Europe to East Asia across the Arctic. Until now, however, the main focus has been on the eastern route, north of Norway and along the long coast of Russia.

Far North Digital is currently financing a 14,000-kilometer cable that would run from Galway on the west coast of Ireland, northwest of the coast of Greenland, the Canadian islands, through the Bering Strait and the southern Pacific Ocean to Japan.

“This is a huge project,” says Þorvarður. However, it is subject to a reservation of funding, which Far North Digital is working to obtain from investment banks and large players in the technology market, which require a large bandwidth between Europe and Asia.

The ÍRIS cable currently being laid from Þorlákshöfn to Galway is 1,780 kilometers long. There are already cables to Denmark and Scotland.

Þorvarður says that almost all of Iceland’s general network traffic goes to and from Europe and will continue to do so despite the direct connection to Japan. However, great possibilities would open up for Icelandic data centers, as there are large markets in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere.

The aim is to complete the project by 2026.

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