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Norway looks to improve access to dark fibre in green data centre bid

Fri 29 Jul 2016

Norway optical fibres

Eager to support growing interest in its domestic data centre market, the Norwegian government has commissioned its national electronic communications authority Nkom to create a map of the country’s dark fibre – or unused fibre optic cables.

Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communication has been tasked with drawing up the map, analysing it, and identifying opportunities for greater efficiency.

According to politician Ketil Solvik-Olsen, enabling access to dark fibre is an essential step in promoting the advancement of green data centres in Norway. The Scandinavian country is already a leading destination for data storage, and placed second in the world in a recent influential survey, the Data Centre Risk Index.

Dark fibre, typically privately-owned, are optical fibres which have been laid out by an operator as a way of future-proofing their network, preparing for exponential data growth. This overestimation of infrastructure results in a huge amount of untapped capacity, and there has been a recent push to develop comprehensive networks of dark fibre to take advantage of this.

The term ‘Dark Fibre’ can now refer to the leasing of dark cable strands from network providers and operators, to clients wanting to create their own network rather than leasing bandwidth. The system is entirely operated by the client themselves rather than the provider. A dark fibre network is completely separate from the main, traditional network, which means it is less susceptible to interference.

This latest move in Norway comes as part of the government’s digital plans to get behind local growth industries. Norway has been committed to its intentions of enabling Norway to leverage the opportunities offered by new technologies. On the announcement of its Digital Agenda for Norway, Minister of Local Government and Modernisation, Jan Tore Sanner, commented (Norwegian): ‘Technology represents opportunities. We must exploit these opportunities to provide Norway with good public services and to create new jobs.’

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data centre green news Norway
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