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New marine cable on its way

The Icelandic government accepted Minister of Transport Sturla Bödvarsson’s suggestion of starting preparations for establishing a new marine cable to the country last week.

The Transport Minister will begin discussions with representatives of telecommunication companies, the management of marine cable company Farice and other interested parties in the following weeks, to explore the possibility of connecting Iceland and the European mainland with a new marine cable, as reported in a press release issued by the Ministry of Transport last week.

Currently only two telecommunication cables connect Iceland to the internet: Farice-1 and Cantat-3. Last month, institutions in Iceland, including the National Hospital, were cut off when one of the cables broke down.

According to the Transport Ministry’s press release, until 2004 Iceland was only connected to the rest of the world via one cable, Cantat-3, but, due to Bödvarsson’s efforts, Farice-1 was established two years ago.

There has been a rapid development in the field of telecommunications in recent years and as a consequence the need for a good connection to the internet and to other communication networks has increased vastly.

Many companies are dependent on reliable access to the internet to do business and to communicate with other companies, institutions and the general public.

The initial cost of a new marine cable is estimated at ISK 2.8 to 3.9 billion (EUR 30 to 42 million, USD 40 to 55 million).

According to the government’s plans, the new telecommunications cable will be fully established by the end of 2008.

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