Dublin-based data communications provider Hibernia Atlantic has commenced rollout of a new USD50 million submarine fibre-optic cable link between the Republic and Iceland, writes Irish IT newswire, ENN. The 1,350 km cable system is expected to be fully lit in 2008. Hibernia says it has completed a feasibility study on the network’s location and is now exploring the topography between the two proposed landing stations. Hibernia’s chief executive Bjarni K. Thorvardarson told ENN: ‘Yesterday we started the physical survey and a ship called the Explorer is now on its way from the landing station in Iceland and is heading along the proposed route. Once the examination is completed and we have confirmed the route and the type of cable necessary, then we will go out to tender.’ The new network will augment Iceland’s sole optical fibre system, known as Farice, which currently links the country to the Faroe Islands. The Hibernia link will connect to the company’s 52 Points of Presence (PoPs), giving Iceland 10Gbps Ethernet connectivity to the US, Ireland and the rest of Europe. Thorvardarson said its new sub-sea system would help attract foreign investment into Ireland by plumping up the country’s reputation as a data centres location.
Through 360 Networks, Hibernia Atlantic deployed its original 12,200km fibre-optic system, linking the US and Canada to Ireland and the UK, for around USD900 million in 2000. The link was subsequently acquired by Hibernia’s parent company, Columbia Ventures Corporation (CVC), for USD18 million three years later after 360 Networks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. CVC also owns Irish alternative broadband provider Magnet Networks and has since spent USD80 million on the operator’s network.