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Altibox acquires subsea cable firm Skagenfiber

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Altibox has acquired 100% of shares in Skagenfiber AS and its projected fibre-optic cable between Norway and Denmark, which will complete the international Euroconnect-1 ring announced earlier this month.

Skagenfiber will be ready for service (RFS) at the end of 2020 and will attract an international clientele of data centre operators and telecom carriers, further enhancing Norway’s appeal as a digital host nation. It will further strengthen and enhance the new international Euroconnect-1 fibre ring.

The Euroconnect-1 ring has already planned and announced the NO-UK subsea cable between Stavanger and Newcastle will be RFS ready for service in 2021.

“There is a significant requirement for high capacity fibre connections between Norway and mainland Europe. The combination of the two subsea cables - NO-UK and Skagenfiber - will in their robustness and combined capacity meet the ever-increasing demands for first class digital infrastructure in Norway,” said Toril Nag, Group executive vice president of Lyse’s telecoms division and chairwoman of Altibox.

“More than that, they will connect Norwegian businesses to the world and significantly increase the attractiveness of Norway as a digital host nation to international data centres.”

Today, a major part of internet traffic is routed through Sweden, a disadvantage considering redundancy and security as well as the latency loss – or speed of data transmission – so critical to data centre operators and hyperscalers.

The Skagenfiber East and West cable systems between Norway and central Europe have garnered strong public support from a number of public bodies including Ministry of Transport & Communication, the Armed Forces, ICT Norway and Highways Agency.

Skagenfiber’s 170km long subsea cable stretches from Hirtshals on the northern coast of Denmark to Larvik on the southern coast of Norway with onwards connections to the data centre hub of the Oslo region. The cable has 48 fibre pairs and will significantly strengthen capacity between Norway and mainland Europe; offering sorely needed diversity as regards to data traffic in and out of Norway.

The Skagenfiber build-out commences early in the New Year and several of the Skagenfiber founders will remain and partner with Altibox to see the build through to completion.

“We are tremendously excited to join forces with Altibox and start the realisation of this network asset, the planning of which has been more than two years in the making,” added Geir Holmer, CEO of Skagenfiber.

“There is keen interest in the market for first class connectivity to Norway, and in combination with the investments Altibox are making in NO-UK and Euroconnect-1, the Skagenfiber cable will most certainly place Norway firmly on the map.”

Lyse Tele is made up of the wholly-owned digital TV & broadband provider Altibox AS, and Lyse’s ownership stake in several fibre providers in Norway and Denmark. The national backbone network of Altibox covers all of Norway, from Agder in the south to Finmark in the north.

Lyse Tele has 330,000 fibre customers, distributed across Norway. In addition, Altibox provides services to other network operators/owners. In total, more than 600,000 consumers and businesses get their internet and TV entertainment from Altibox.

The news comes after Altibox recently announced that it had deployed BearingPoint//Beyond’s Infonova digital business platform to connect its regional service providers across Norway and Denmark.

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