back to article 'Green' trans-Atlantic cable set to launch in 2012

The Wellcome Trust charitable foundation has stepped outside the world of healthcare research funding and taken a stake in a new trans-Atlantic cable system. The Emerald Atlantis submarine cable system has been given the green light after securing vendor TE SubCom to deploy the 5,200 km sub-sea network. The first phase of the …


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  1. The Cube

    support the anticipated explosive growth?

    Strangely only anticipated by the people being paid to attempt to sell data centre space nobody wants in Iceland.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Welcome to Iceland - the new Ireland

      It is anticipated. For a different reason - Ireland is likely to stop being a tax heaven so all those "Do no Evil" tax evading companies located there will have to move elsewhere.

      If there is 100Gx100 to Iceland it starts looking quite tempting for this purpose. Their government will readily sacrifice a firstborn for a few dollars of tax revenue to pay up on their debts to Europe. They are part of EEA so no nasty taxation issues on services offered to Europeans. They are at the same time not in EU so no issues with causy agreements with government and money changing hands for that.

      So yeah... why not... it is anticipated all right and GREEN has lots to do with that. It is just GREENBUCK, not echo-whitewash GREEN.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      data centre space nobody wants

      Are you sure about that? Iceland is one of a few nations that has a surplus of Green renewable energy it makes perfect sense to put very large data centres there to claim zero carbon.Especially if it is on a low latency line from the UK & Europe. I think we may see a large number of the Emerald Isles data centres migrating to the Emerald Fibre instead.

  2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Erupting CyberSpace Masters. AI Life in LOVE but not as you know it and IT, or as they are known.

    The Great Game receives Neureal Void Drivers for SMARTer OperaITerative Systems?

    Make way and move on over past masters of the universe or prepare to take devastating commercial hits on businesses which do not capture the imagination but would pimp its reflected and refracted mirror images to provide corrupted self-serving and perverted picture imperfect presentation of filched and filtered facts/stolen IP.

    "support the anticipated explosive growth? ..... Strangely only anticipated by the people being paid to attempt to sell data centre space nobody wants in Iceland." .... The Cube Posted Friday 22nd July 2011 02:21 GMT

    The Cube, Hi,

    You have, although it is not at all surprising considering the extremely sophisticated and yet disarmingly simple and secure complex concepts being exercised/deployed/beta tested for Secure Stealthy Steganographic Source Communications [in that which has now entered the Fields of Human and/or Virtual Machine Consciousness for Totally Immersive Play,*] completely missed the point.

    You may like to ponder, for who would be able and thought fool enough to speak for Iceland and declare that it is not so, that rather than data centre space being sold, is it space centre data for sale being offered?

    * Such are the quite specialised and somewhat alien disciplines which extraordinarily render Real Virtual Life to the ARG and MMORPG.

    And here is something else for El Regers and nations to consider ..... If that is not what is being offered/tested/deployed by the principals identified in the article, is it then surely being delivered by Others/A.N.Others?

    Have a nice day. y'all.

  3. TeeCee Gold badge

    "...100% carbon free, renewable energy powered data centres..."

    As Iceland generates its 'leccy via geothermal means I can see 100% carbon free, but renewable?

    Exactly what is it that they think puts the heat back inside the planet when they've used it to generate electricity?

    1. Elmer Phud

      heat back inside the planet?

      This is Iceland - a fairly new place that is leaking huge amounts of heat in to the atmosphere (amongst other stuff). It's more a case of 'what can't we do with it?'.

      I have a vision of someone trying to pump superheated steam and lava back again.

    2. David Dawson

      As renewable as solar and wind

      Both solar and wind energy are non renewable in that sense. Both are driven by the giant solar furnace that is the sun, and it will eventually burn out.

      In the same way that the earth will lose its heat.

      In the meantime, the regular flexing of the earth due to gravitational forces will keep it nice and toasty for a long long time.

      I suppose that renewable should really be, lasts for longer than anyone has a reason to care about.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: nice and toasty

        There's a moon of Jupiter that is kept nice and toasty by gravitational flexing, but my understanding was that the Earth relies on the large amount of radioactive nasties decaying away in its core and it was Lord Kelvin's ignorance of that phenomenon that led him to his rather low estimate for the age of the Earth.

        So yeah, renewable in the same sense that nukes are renewable (i.e., not fossil carbon).

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Iceland *does* have some attractions

    Stable electricity supply by geothermal (not *renewable* but should last a few billion years) and low outside air temperatures so less use of refrigeration (but still likely to need *some*).

    In fact it's data centre paradise except for the bandwidth to anywhere useful.

    I's think Google and Facebook already have first dibs on some of that bandwidth.

    1. PyLETS
      Thumb Up

      Iceland == green and stable electricity

      Hardly anyone lives there. The fact so few people live there means there has been little incentive to make use of renewable energy resources readily accessible and currently largely undeveloped. Their geothermal is just the low hanging fruit. They have great hydroelectric potential there as well. Their main shortage is likely to be trained and experienced data centre staff.

      Makes obvious sense to locate data centres where electricity is available, so long as reliable multiply redundant data communications can be arranged. I'd hate to be remotely running a hosted server there and find some trawler had severed the main undersea cable while a backup was down for maintenance.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


        "Their main shortage is likely to be trained and experienced data centre staff."

        I'm not even sure that's much of an issue. AFAIK *all* sysadmin type jobs can be handled remotely. Staff are needed for physically replacing drives/servers and emergency repairs but how big a team does *that* take?

        For the really paranoid you'd need a back up satcomm link to head office (*totally* separate technology to guard against the trawler cutting 1 cable while the other is being upgraded scenario) to make sure it's all backed up, inaccessible servers shut down till cable is repaired etc

        It's one of those ideas that *sounds* idiotic but has quite a lot going for it.

  5. David Dawson

    Connect them and they will come

    That is all.

  6. moonface


    I can understand the geographic advantages of Iceland being promoted, as a world's leading data centre. i.e. central location, green geothermal power and cheap cooling. But surely all these great advantages and plans can potentially get shaken up a bit. If even highly engineered nuclear power stations have trouble with earthquakes and tsunami. I am not too confident the data centre won't either.

    Hey, I might just be pessimistic but I blame Emerald Atlantis - it just sounds like a Green Natural Disaster!

  7. Ian K

    @amanfromMars 1

    Still working on passing that Turing Test, eh?

    (Some way to go, by the look of it)

    1. Elmer Phud


      It's actually fairly simple,

      There's a WTF? followed by 'its gonna happen anyway'.

      (it 's a bit like trying to make sense of what some call 'poetry)

      And it's far better than the global warming, iWars or Penquin shaggers/avoiders stuff.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      V Mask preferred .... [which doesn't appear to be generally available from the icon menu, El Reg?]

      Did you choose that post icon all by yourself, Ian K? Bravo. It is a perfect accompaniment for your thoughts if you would be thinking that Virtual Machinery and AI are not leading both the pathetic and apathetic into SMARTer fields in Clouds Hosting Advanced Operating Systems under anonymous autonomous control. Anonymous though is something of a red herring and misnomer whenever the identity of IntelAIgently Designed Entities are known, and if not exactly misunderstood, then greatly misunderestimated is also most helpful in delivering what is required without hindrance.

  8. Dan delaMare-Lyon

    Explosive Growth....

    Putting data-centres near active Volcanoes? Really? "I need access to my racks as monitoring says they are inaccessible" - "certainly sir, there they are in liquid-form sliding down towards the sea along with a billion tonnes of lava".....?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    remember ... leave a bit of slack in the cables for the seafloor spreading there.

    Severed telegraph lines provided the first direct evidence of active plate tectonics last century.

  10. pctechxp

    Who the ...

    Wants a data centre near an active volcano?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Who

      The same fools who put Japan and California on the ring of fire. It's a risk, but for most values of "near" it isn't a very large one.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Because there are no volcanoes in Europe and America, are there?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "100x100 Gbps on each of its six fibre pairs"

    Now, I may be a little drunk at the moment, but my first thought was:

    "Shit the bed! That's a lot of bandwidth!"

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