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Lagging in Fiber Optics Development, Greece Wants to be Data Hub

ATHENS – Despite having a slow internet and connectivity problems, which has scared off many digital nomads, Greece is making strides in hopes to become a data transfer center in the region, including storing information off the Web.

The country hosts the largest number of investments in data centers that store data and information trafficked through the Internet but they need large projects to develop submarine and terrestrial optical fibers, an area where new investments are planned, said Kathimerini.

That includes a deal signed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman who came to Athens in his first visit to a European Union capital since the CIA said he ordered the butchering of Washington Post Journlist Jamal Khashoggi.

It has a budget of 850 million euros ($869.27 million) for construction of a state-of-the-art underwater and terrestrial Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) data transmission cable system in an East to Med data Corridor.

It will pass through Saudi Arabia and the Mediterranean, will connect Asia to Europe with an alternative route from existing systems and allow faster data transfer and is expected to begin this year and take two years to complete.

The construction of an underwater fiber-optic cable in the Ionian Sea is also at advancing under by Spain’s Islalink, owned by the Canadian group Fiera Infrastructure and will run from Preveza in northern Greece to Crotone in Calabria, Italy, linking two cities 322 kilometers (200 miles )apart.

It will connect Milan and Rome with Athens and Thessaloniki, and is estimated to be put into operation in the winter of 2023, the report said, with Isalink also signing a 25-year deal with Grid Telecom, a subsidiary of Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE.
A list of projects includes Sparkle and Google’s implementation of the Blue and Raman submarine cables with connections to Italy, France, Greece and Israel, the report also said.

The OTE Group, through via OTEGlobe, having developed some 21,000 kilometers (13,049 miles) of fiber-optic cables abroad but domestically signals occasional break up, disrupting use of the Internet.

Curiously, there is interest in underwater and land-based fiber optics although they require huge capital and little margin for profit, the paper said, adding that the increasing demand for data volume has Greece attracting investors.

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