Bringing the Nordics Together and Beyond

Kjetil Korslund discusses the past, present and future of Nordic telecommunications in issue 113 of the SubTel Forum Magazine.By Kjetil Korslund
July 20, 2020

The Celtic Norse cable system will connect central Norway to Ireland, and both of them further to the East Coast of the United States.

The German attack on Norway and Denmark started very early on the 9th of April 1940. In Norway the Wehrmacht headed for destinations of strategical importance. These were mainly the big cities, but also Egersund, an idyllic Norwegian city with only 3.250 residents at the time. At 04:15 AM two German minesweepers arrived in the harbour, and the first one docked at the steamboat quay at 04:24. 22 minutes later Rittmeister Eickhorn had located the telegraph station, and switched off the connection to Peterhead in Scotland. The cable itself was cut some days later. For the Germans, it was of utmost importance to hinder Norwegian communication with Great Britain.

This cable was laid in summer 1869. Earlier messages from Christiania (Oslo) to Great Britain had to go via Sweden, Denmark and Amsterdam.

Today all fibre in central Norway is routed through Oslo. What Celtic Norse is proposing to its owners and other utility companies in the central part of Norway, is to build their own cable.


The story began in 2015 up in the Norwegian mountains. Erling Aronsveen and two other representives from Eidsiva energi, one of the major over the tops, were looking at the Åkrestrømmen site in Innlandet county, and considering it as a potential hosting campus for one of the global OTTs. Eventually, they had to realize that they were unprepared and unequipped for international connectivity. Everything they learned about what they couldn’t do in answering their principal’s demands for data centre space, got them into developing their own subsea cable.

Celtic Norse is a member of the EasyFibre consortium, which is a Nordic terrestrial fibre consortium consisting of a dozen fibre owners that have pooled their fibre together to present a dark fibre offer proposition. For the OTTs or others who want to interact, they won’t have to contact all the different companies that have fibre. EasyFibre will coordinate them all.

To continue reading the rest of this article, please read it in Issue 113 of the SubTel Forum Magazine on page 26 or on our archive site here.