Facebook gets new fibre link to its Swedish datacentre doorstep with €40m TeliaSonera rollout

Swedish carrier TeliaSonera will lay a second fibre route to the north of Sweden in a bid to attract more datacentres to the region.

TeliaSonera subsidiary Skanova lays some cable for the new network
TeliaSonera subsidiary Skanova lays some cable for the new network. Image: Skanova

Swedish carrier TeliaSonera will roll out more than 1,000km of fibre through the north of Sweden, with the new link terminating at the doorstep of Facebook's Swedish datacentre.

Dubbed Skanova Backbone North, the new link will span 1,250km of inland terrain through middle and northern Sweden, ending in Luleå at the northern tip of the Baltic Sea.

Luleå, as many know, is the home of Facebook's first non-US datacentre and the site of a second facility that began construction earlier this year. One of the reasons Facebook chose the site was its cool climate and access to clean energy. Facebook's servers at the facility are powered by locally-generated hydroelectric energy, while it uses the chilly Nordic air to cool servers that house photos, videos, comments, and Likes.

TeliaSonera isn't giving away too much detail about the new link, but the company says the €40m project is designed to boost capacity for its long-haul network in the region, which has become "a popular site for datacentres carrying network traffic bound for the rest of Europe on behalf of global internet companies".

TeliaSonera International Carrier and Facebook struck a deal in 2012 for the telco to provide Facebook's pan-European managed optical network, but the carrier won't reveal whether this new link is destined to support Facebook's datacentre.

"I cannot confirm what individual company's traffic will run in the cable we will now build, but it will support internet companies that use datacentres in the region. We believe it will improve our value proposition to customers in the online industry that are scouting for locations for their next European datacentre," a TeliaSonera spokesman told ZDNet.

Facebook might have the largest datacentre in Luleå, but it's not the only one, with other providers following its lead in capitalising on the area's natural qualities. Swedish Bitcoin mining company KnCMiner launched a 10MW datacentre in the region this February and in May it was joined by British hosting provider Hydro66.

The new link boosts network capacity and redundancy the region by adding a second inland fibre link that complements existing fibre cables along the Baltic Sea coastline of northern Sweden and through Finland.

TeliaSonera's new fibre plans come as Finland steps up its bid for a greater slice of datacentre investments in the Nordics.

The Finnish government announced last week  it had would fund a new $100m fibre link through the Baltic Sea between Finland and Germany that it hopes will attract investments like the datacentre Google has developed in Hamina .

Finnish politicians are pitching the nation as a "safe harbour" for data in response to allegations Sweden helped the US National Security Agency spy on Russians. It's new link will also break its dependence on Sweden's fibre networks for data transmission to and from the rest of the world. 

Read more on Facebook's Swedish datacentre