The 1,700km cable system is set to connect Galway, Ireland, with Thorlakshofn, Iceland, just south of Reykjavík
This week, Icelandic international carrier Farice has announced the deployment of their new IRIS cable, a system set to directly link Iceland to Ireland for the first time.
Back in 2019, government-run international carrier Farice identified Galway as an attractive landing site for an Iceland–Ireland submarine cable system, noting both its suitable beaches and close proximity to the heart of the city itself.
In 2021, they contracted cable specialist SubCom to manufacture and deploy the IRIS system, with work beginning earlier this year.
Now, the company reports that the cable system is fully deployed, bringing the project into its final phase of implementation.
“IRIS, a new submarine cable connecting Iceland and Ireland, is a major milestone in strengthening and securing Iceland‘s electronic communications with Ireland and other countries. Together with Iceland‘s green and renewable energy sources this new submarine cable makes Iceland a highly competitive option for data centers, cloud service providers and high performance computing,” said Iceland’s Minister of Universities, Industry and Innovation, Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir. “Connecting Iceland and Ireland brings on new opportunities for both countries for co-operation in the highly connected digital world.“
The IRIS system comprises six fibre pairs, each of which can deliver 18Tbps of capacity for a total of 108 Tbps. It will offer both Ireland and Iceland more diverse data routes to connect to Europe, as well as providing the additional capacity to cope with the rapidly growing data demand in both countries.
The cable will be complementary to Farice’s existing pair of submarine cable systems: the DANICE, which links southwest Iceland to western Denmark, and the FARICE-1, connecting northeast Iceland to the Faroe Islands and northern Scotland.
The Irish government have been particularly vocal about the positive impact that the IRIS system will have on the country, not only directly benefiting the local region but also to transform Ireland into a regional subsea connectivity hub.
“Ireland is at the forefront of this digital development and is pursuing a strategy to be a gateway to Europe for all internet traffic. The IRIS subsea cable is a remarkable project which ensures we now have direct links from Ireland to Iceland and further diversifies the connectivity links across Ireland,” said Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications. “This has extensive positive implications for Galway and the West, potentially opening up the entire region for new investment. And it highlights the West as a key destination for Europe’s internet connectivity infrastructure which is likely to attract future investments.”
“Today is a landmark in the history of Irish communications. Ireland is now open for business to further subsea cables,” said Minister of State Ossian Smyth.
The IRIS system is expected to be ready for service in Q1 of next year.
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