Currently the only high speed submarine cables leading to Iceland are coming from Europe, creating a roundabout trip for internet connections to hit North America. Emerald Netorks, a new American submarine network company, is building one of the fastest neworks across the Atlantic that will branch from Ireland and Iceland, and head straight for New York.
The new cable will cost around €227 million, and will provide a 100 Gbps connection across the Atlantic. This has great benifits for the high speed trading used by the financial sector– expected round trip latency between New York and London is around 62ms. But it will also open up Iceland to become a new datacenter powerhouse.
Iceland sits conveniently between the U.S. and Europe, has a cold climate, has huge amounts of cheap and clean geothermal energy. Low latencies between two continents are a great plus, but the clean energy and the cool temperatures make it affordable to create and cool off the massive amount of heat given off by servers.
The Icelandic government is also supportive of datacenters. The parliament recently passed regulation stating foreign data centers do not need to pay value added tax. Currently there’s already a couple datacenters operating out of Iceland with the “green” angle, like Greenqloud and Verene Global. But now datacenters should be able appeal to customers’ desire for speed, with the added environmental benefit.
The Emerald Networks’ Emerald Express System features 6 Fiber Pairs and is designed at 100 waves x 100 Gbps each (60Tbit total). The mostly deep water route, up-armoring and deeper burial will ensure a high level of reliability. The system is scheduled to be ready for service by Spring, 2013.