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Nkom set to launch NOK 100m subsea competition

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Norway’s National Communications Authority (Nkom) is set to announce a tender competition this month that will help to fund new subsea fibre cable projects.

Norway is one of the most digitised countries in Europe, but the dependency of most of its transmitted data traffic through Sweden and the Copenhagen area is a huge vulnerability for the country from a diversity and security point of view.

To address this, the Norwegian government has now allocated NOK 100 million (£8.5 million) of the state budget to the initiative. Funding will be awarded following tenders and will help to create additional secure and robust routes to improve today’s traffic management.

The measure will ensure the establishment of open and non-discriminatory wholesale access for internet service providers (ISPs) for a period of at least seven years. The aid shall cover the documented additional costs arising from the provision of fibre capacity for the said purpose and under specified conditions.

The EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) has approved support for capacity in new submarine fibre cables abroad and it supports the measure to help reduce the vulnerability of international electronic communications to and from Norway.

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation (KMD) and Nkom are in discussions with ESA on the legal framework for granting the support of the scheme.

“ESA has approved the government's support scheme for subsea fibre cables abroad. Establishing alternative capacity abroad will provide much safer internet traffic for consumers and business in Norway,” said Nikolai Astrup, Norway’s Digitisation Minister.

“It is very gratifying that we can now start this important work. This will make the internet access to and from Norway more robust.”

The news comes after Celtic Norse, the 2,000km cable linking Norway to Ireland, partnered with Vodafone Iceland to develop a branch in Ireland and Nordic data centre provider DigiPlex is making headway on its NOK 600 million project to build two new data centres near Oslo, Norway. Bulk Infrastructure AS has also launched its Nordic Gateway.

The Ministry of Municipalities and Modernisation has asked Nkom to announce a tender competition as soon as possible.

If you'd like to find out more about regional subsea projects in the Nordics, CLICK HERE to view a recent Capacity webinar

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