With a capacity of up to 160 terabits per second, the subsea fibre cable will significantly increase data capacity between Norway and the rest of the world.
The cable to England will be a part of a larger fibre network that Altibox is establishing, Euroconnect-1, which will ensure robust and state-of-the-art digital infrastructure. The North Sea cable and leased fibre capacity in Europe are key components of Euroconnect.
The North Sea cable and Euroconnect will connect Norway to important digital hubs such as London, Brussels, Amsterdam and Hamburg. This means that Norway will connect to the major datacentre hubs in Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, where players such as Microsoft, Facebook, Google and Amazon already have large datacentres.
Laying of the cable between Norway and the UK starts just after the new year in 2020, and completion is scheduled for 2021.
The consortium that is building the Norway - UK connection comprises Lyse/Altibox as operator, and Haugaland Kraft, BKK, Ryfylke IKS, Green Mountain and Hatteland Group.
Telecommunications company Altibox, which is best known for providing internet and entertainment services to Norwegian and Danish households – has 48% of the fibre market in Norway, and has also provided services to the professional market for several years.
“Along with the consortium, Lyse and Altibox are pleased to have the opportunity to invest in critical Norwegian infrastructure beyond Norwegian borders. Over the past 18 years the Altibox partnership has invested several billion Norwegian kroner in digital infrastructure throughout Norway. The need for high data capacity and a direct connection between Norway and the UK and the rest of Europe is great. The investments are significant, but there are several partners splitting the bill,” says Toril Nag, EVP for telecommunications with Lyse and chairman of Altibox.
She emphasises that the new subsea cable to England will strengthen Norway’s position as an attractive location for investment in new datacentres. “We have reliable and green energy, a stable political environment, a well-educated population and a cool climate. Several regions also have district heating systems, such as Lyse in the Stavanger region, for example, which to a certain extent can exploit excess heat from large datacentres,” Nag says.