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Galway gateway to connectivity to Europe

October 9, 2020

The West coast of Ireland and Galway has been designated as a landing location for international telecommunications cables with Increased availability of terrestrial networks across the country enabling this. Farice, which is fully owned by the Icelandic Government and currently owns and operates two submarine cables that connect Iceland to Northern Europe , has been undertaking preparatory work for a new submarine fibre cable from Iceland to Europe via Galway since early 2019.

Identifying a landing site in Europe was a key element of this preparatory work and in addition to this, suitable seabed approaches to Galway and the ability to land a cable in the heart of the city greatly enhances the attractiveness of Galway as a landing site and as a potential hub of global connectivity.  

Explaining why Galway, CEO of Farice Thorvardur Sveinsson commented, “After careful consideration of many factors, Galway was selected by Farice as the European cable landing location.  The Icelandic landing site will be on the Reykjanes peninsula with the final location to be decided during the winter 2020/2021. This coupled with Galway’s reputation for business, education and hospitality will lead to a win win situation. The enhanced global activity provided by the system will be a catalyst for attracting high tech business to the city and the regions.”

A submarine cable route survey and detailed marine investigation has now commenced from Galway to the boundary of the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone. This survey marks an important milestone in the project development as it is the first seabed survey of the favoured cable route.  The results of the survey will support Farice in further development of the project and in validating Galway as the European landing site for the submarine cable.  The project could result in a new submarine fibre cable between Iceland and Ireland becoming operational within two years from financing being secured.

“Ireland has many important attributes that makes it attractive as a destination for this new cable from Iceland, over and above the relatively short distance between the two countries.  Ireland is at the nexus of new trans-Atlantic connections, is a centre of choice for European operations for many international businesses and has a rich and diverse pool of skilled labour in its workforce. Ireland has thus firmly established itself at the forefront of the development of Europe’s digital infrastructure and as such is an important connection point for a new submarine cable between Iceland and Europe.”

“It is often perceived that international telecommunications are carried out by satellite. This is a common misconception and in reality, the vast majority of global communications is carried on fibre optic cables and particularly sub-sea cables. The capacity of such cables is quite incredible and a single pair of fibre strands could satisfy the demands of most of Galway City. Due to the very high capacity of modern systems, subsea fibre cables are incredibly small in size (approx. 25mm diameter) and are very fast and non-intrusive to install. The overall benefits greatly outweigh the short-term inconvenience during the installation. The presence of the Farice system landing in Galway will provide direct high capacity links to Iceland but also to Northern Europe via Denmark and the UK and will greatly increase capacity and connectivity in Galway City and the regions,” said Thorvardur.

For more information on Farice log onto http://www.farice.is/.

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