Finland’s government has contracted Alcatel Lucent to build a submarine cable at the bottom of the Baltic Sea that will connect the country directly to Germany and increase available bandwidth for Finland Internet users.
Over the past several years, Finland and other Nordic countries have been competing to attract large data center construction projects as a way to boost their economies. Finnish government hopes the increase in available bandwidth between the country and the rest of the European continent will make it more attractive for data center operators.
Finland’s abundant low-cost electrical power and cool climate have already brought in several major data centers. Google is estimated to have made more than $1 billion in investment related to its massive data center in Hamina – a repurposed paper mill.
Microsoft is building a $250 million data center in Finland. Russian Internet giant Yandex announced it would built a massive server farm in the country as well.
Finland’s neighbor Sweden also scored a blockbuster data center deal in 2011 when Facebook decided to build its first data center outside of the U.S. in Luleå.
While there is already a multitude of submarine cable links from Finland to Russia, Sweden, and the Baltic states, the upcoming cable will be the first to connect the country to Europe’s largest economy.
The project, called Sea Lion, is being funded by Cinia Group, Finland’s government-owned telco. It will cost about $74 million, and is expected to be completed in 2016.
The cable will stretch about 680 miles from Helsinki to a landing station near Rostock, a major city on Germany’s Baltic coast. Finland’s national fiber-optic network will carry data traffic from across the country to and from the Sea Lion system. The terrestrial network runs along the national railroad system.
“Broadband connectivity is a major growth opportunity for the foreseeable future and the development of a robust telecommunication infrastructure is vital,” Jukka-Pekka Joensuu, Cinia’s executive vice president, said in a statement.