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Finland Installing Submarine Cable to Link to Germany

December 05, 2014

Construction has begun on a submarine cable that would connect Finland to Germany via the Baltic Sea. It would give Finland an alternate route for network traffic and make the area more attractive to companies that want to setup data centers in the area.

The cable is being supplied by Alcatel-Lucent and would connect Helsinki to Rostock-Ribnitz in the northern coast of Germany. It will cover a distance of 680 miles and cost $74 million. A newly formed company, Cinia Group, will manage operations of the cable and absorb another company, Corenet, a major data cable company that owned a 4400 mile network of cable within Finland.  

The vast majority of international network traffic to and from Finland passes through a cable that goes along the Oresund Bridge, a five-mile-long roadway that passes over water and links Denmark to Sweden. This posed two major problems for Finland.

First, the Oresund Bridge cable was, for all intents and purposes, a single point of failure. Any service outage in that area would leave Finland isolated on the Web from the rest of the world. The Finland-to-Germany cable eliminates that problem.

Secondly it reduces Finland’s dependence on Sweden. A May 2014 article by ZDNet writer Liam Tung implied that Finland was not too happy with its neighbor for the role it played spying on Russia for the U.S. In order to be credible as a site that businesses could rely on to host data centers, Finland felt that it needed an alternative to the Oresund Bridge cable.

One of the reasons Finland and other Nordic countries are attractive sites for a data center is the cooler climate. Helsinki, which is about as far south in Finland as you can get without falling into the Baltic Sea, is at roughly the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Companies that maintain data centers there do not have to spend as much money cooling the buildings where the servers are housed.

The new Finland-to-Germany cable is critical to the long-term economic prosperity of Finland. It will provide the country with better network infrastructure and make it more compelling for data center sites. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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