Landmark day as subsea cable between Galway and Iceland installed

Landmark day as subsea cable between Galway and Iceland installed

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan was in Galway today to mark the installation of a milestone piece of telecommunications infrastructure.

The IRIS subsea telecoms cable connecting Ireland to Iceland, and beyond into northern Europe, has been connected at its landing site in Galway.

This is the first time that a subsea cable has connected to Ireland that is not otherwise connected to the UK or United States.

Speaking at the cable landing ceremony on Ballyloughnane beach in Galway, Minister Eamon Ryan TD, said that this was part of a new industrial revolution.

“The IRIS cable enhances Ireland’s digital connectivity internationally, providing the essential factors needed by businesses to be able to compete globally and attract investment.”

“This direct, high-capacity route to Iceland and through to Northern Europe provides opportunities for all businesses to extend their market reach.”

“It’s part of the new industrial revolution – one that combines high quality, digital infrastructure with renewable technology, infrastructure and skills, helping to ensure that Ireland stays ahead of both the digital and climate curves and maintains its competitive advantage as a clean, innovative, secure and open economy.”

The IRIS cable is owned and operated Farice, a company fully owned by the Icelandic Government.

Farice signed a contract with SubCom, LLC, a global undersea fiber optic cable system supply company, to install the IRIS Cable System.

SubCom has now received provisional acceptance for IRIS, the final phase before officially handing the system over to its owner.

Þorvarður Sveinsson, Farice CEO said, “IRIS will enable us to accommodate the capacity needs of customers, and bring diversity and resilience to our existing network by providing an important additional route for traffic flowing between Iceland and Europe,”

Galway was identified as a landing site in Europe with suitable seabed approaches back in 2019.

The ability to land a cable in the heart of the city greatly enhanced the attractiveness of Galway as a landing site and as a potential hub of global connectivity.

The IRIS system will be ready for service in the first quarter of 2023 and will be the third submarine fibre optic cable system connecting Iceland with Europe.

Minister of State Ossian Smyth remarked that “Today is a landmark in the history of Irish communications.”

“Ireland has been an intercontinental communications hub since 1858 when the first transatlantic cable linking London and New York was routed through Ireland.”

“This is the start of a strategic move by Ireland to connect directly to Northern and Southern Europe. Ireland is now open for business to further subsea cables.”

“These new connections will increase resilience and reduce latency. They provide the infrastructure needed for the 100s of thousands of people employed in Ireland in the ICT and pharmaceutical sectors.”