Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Iceland Hasn't The Bandwidth To Site Large Media Servers

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 16, 2010

Iceland's parliament has unanimously agreed to pass the strongest media freedom laws called the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative.

Nieman Journalism Lab reports:

But although the legislative package sounds very encouraging from a freedom of expression point of view, it's not clear what the practical benefits will be to organizations outside Iceland. In his analysis of the proposal, Arthur Bright of the Citizen Media Law Project has noted that, in one major test case of cross-border online libel law, "publication" was deemed to occur at the point of download -- meaning that serving a controversial page from Iceland won't keep you from getting sued in other countries. But if nothing else, it would probably prevent your servers from being forcibly shut down.

Placing your media servers in Iceland would be good for the environment. All of Iceland's electric power comes from hydro-electric and geothermal power plants. And it's location mid-way between Europe and North American would help deliver media to large numbers of consumers.

One big problem however, is that Iceland doesn't have the bandwidth.

From Invest in Iceland.

Telecommunication traffic is channelled through submarine fibre-optic cables: Farice 1 and CANTAT 3. Farice runs at 20 Gb/s and has an ultimate transmission capacity of 720 Gb/s. CANTAT 3 has a nominal capacity of 5 Gb/s in each direction, with 2.5 Gb/s to spare.

New lines are planned but because of Iceand's financial ruin, there is no guarantee when that will happen.

If the world's publishers tried to locate their media servers in Iceland to protect against lawsuits they would quickly overwhelm the country's bandwidth.

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Please see:

Could Troubled Iceland Find A Silver Lining In Cloud Computing?

Iceland's geo hotspots could power GOOG server farms


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