Greece and Saudi Arabia plan fibre optic cable to link Europe and Asia

A bundle of optical fibres: Even fibre optic broadband isn't safe from VoIP network jitter
(Image credit: Denny Müller on Unsplash)

While the cloud might seem like a magical invention, a lot of physical infrastructure is needed to support fast connections to the internet. 

Greece and Saudi Arabia have announced a joint venture to lay subsea and land cables that will link Europe and Asia, according to Reuters

The project is known as the "East to Med data Corridor", consisting of both land and subsea cables, and will be developed by MENA HUB, which is owned by Saudi and Greek telecoms companies. 

"East to Med data Corridor"

There is still some way to go on the specifics and a deal is expected by July. Laying cables takes a lot of time and the new corridor is expected to be completed by 2025. 

A source told Reuters that the estimated overall cost would be around €800 million. 

It's fair to say that Greece has had a trouble financial history over the past decade, facing tough demands from the European Union to bail out its economy. 

Digital transformation has been high on the agenda of the Greek government, which came to power in 2019, and the deal would represent a significant step in that project, cementing Greece as a destination for technological innovation. 

Greece received around €30 billion for digital transformation – comprised of grants and loans – and some of those funds will be spent on 5G and fibre installation. 

Creating internet infrastructure

It's not just countries that are eager to lay subsea and land cables to gain better access to the internet. 

Meta, Google, and many other enormous companies have been quietly working away on building next-gen internet infrastructure across the world. 

Meta has been working on 2Africa, a 45,000km cable that will run from the UK to Spain before travelling the entire coast of Africa and arriving in Oman. 

The expense of such projects is a drop in the bucket compared to the potential profits available, both in terms of onboarding new users and charging other companies and governments to shift data across their cables. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.