The optical network in Iceland is a circular system connected to fiber optic submarine cables that connect the island to the continents of Europe and North America. Four submarine cables connect Iceland to the world; Cantat 3 (cross Atlantic cable with max 7,5 Gb/s transmission), Farice 1 (Iceland-Scotland with max 720 Gb/s transmission), Danice (Iceland-Danmark with max 5 terabits/sec. operational in 2009) and Greenland connect (Iceland-Greenland-Canada with max 96x10Gb/sec transmission).
Two major telecommunication companies own and run countrywide optical fiber networks substituting in up to three backup connection routes in selected locations.
At the location of Sauðárkrókur connections are available to the network of Míla, which has two pairs of fiber running through the town in their circular grid, giving two ways in and out of the town. Two other companies, Fjarski ehf and Vodafone Iceland run one string each in this circular grid as well. Two other connections are established. and can be connected to the fiber grid of Fjarski ehf, but this grid forms a circle in the Icelandic highlands, adding connections to the submarine cables that connect Iceland to the world. Both locations, Varmahlíð and Sauðárkrókur can therefore be set up with one major connection, and three backup connections.
As today, there are four pairs of optical fibers in the main circular fiber optic grid, run through Sauðárkrókur; southbound towards Reykjavík and the location of Cantat 3, Danice and Greenland Connect, and eastbound towards Seyðisfjörður where Farice emerges from the sea. Four of those strings are controlled by Míla hf, while two that used to be controlled by NATO are pending to be tendered to other telecommunication companies. Mila hf owns and runs an optical fiber connection with four fiber pairs between Sauðárkrókur and Varmahlíð. Three of those are unused for the time being
The network of Fjarski will strengthen locations in Skagafjörður even further, since it will provide two new routes to the four submarine cables (due in 2008).
Páll Á Jónsson, Director, Míla ehf, june 2008
The ministry for foreign affairs is negotiating with the telecommunication companies Fjarski and Vodafone according to the ministrys website, august 2008 (www.mfa.is)
Guðmundur Daníelsson Technical manager Fjarski, june 2008