The Nordics are seeing huge investment in terms of data centres and international connectivity. For example:
- Aqua Comms has delivered a new subsea cable connecting Denmark to the US and the UK
- Eastern Light connected Helsinki and Stockholm and is planning a new cable stretching from Finland to Germany via Poland
- Skagenfiber is linking Norway to Denmark and to the UK.
The region has also seen huge investments in data centres, with global hyperscale data centres being built in both Denmark and Sweden.
The Nordics is attractive to data centre businesses for a number of reasons – such as skilled workers, cheap electricity, a surplus of renewable energy and a favourable regulatory environment. Now, Norway’s attractiveness to data centre operators has been given a huge boost with the news that Altibox is acquiring 100% of the shares in Skagenfiber.
Altibox owner Lyse Tele, which also has ownership stakes in several other fibre provider in Norway and Denmark, already has 330,000 customers across Norway, with Altibox providing wholesale services to 35 local Norwegian and 6 Danish FTTH networks. In total, more than 600,000 consumers and businesses get their Internet and TV entertainment from Altibox.
Skagenfiber’s Euroconnect-1 ring, which is expected to be live towards the end of 2020, comprises a 170 kilometre subsea cable from Hirtshals on the northern coast of Denmark to Larvik on the southern coast of Norway, with onward connections to the data centre hub in the Oslo region. In 2021 it will be extended to Newcastle (UK) via the NO-UK subsea cable from Stavanger.
Euroconnect-1 provides a number of benefits for both carriers and the data centre market:
- it increases capacity between Norway and mainland Europe
- it provides diversity for data traffic in and out of Norway.
- it avoids the problems associated with the Swedish bottleneck (such as latency loss).
Announcing the acquisition, Geir Holmer, CEO of Skagenfiber commented: “We’re tremendously excited to join forces with Altibox and start the realisation of this network asset, the planning of which has been more than 2 years in the making. There’s keen interest in the market for first class connectivity to Norway, and in combination with the investments Altibox are making in NO-UK and Euroconnect-1, the Skagenfiber cable will most certainly place Norway firmly on the map.”