Iceland, Internet of Things, Smart Cities
Author: Erling Gudmundsson, CEO of Reykjavik Fiber Network (www.gagnaveita.is)
Iceland is the Best Place to Launch Internet of Things, Smart Cities and Smart Communities
Some people have never even heard of Reykjavik; it is the northernmost capital city in the world. It is the capital of Iceland, which is a truly extraordinary Nordic country, located almost exactly half way between mainland Europe and North America. It is a member of the European Economic Area, which gives it all the benefits of being a member of the European Union, but without voting rights. It is in the top 50% of countries by geographical size, but its population is just 329,000, most of whom are based in and around Reykjavik. Arriving at Iceland’s smart international airport and driving into Reykjavik, you can’t help be struck by the smart architectural landmarks and the modern vibrancy of the place that belies its small population. Iceland excels in many areas:
- It is the most sustainable country on earth, with 100% renewable hydro and geothermal power sources.
- Icelanders are consistently ranked amongst the happiest nations on earth.
- Its high educational standards, make it amongst the world leaders in the OECD ranking, above countries like UK, USA, Germany and France.
- Ranked number one on the Global Gender Gap, out of 145 countries, making it the most gender equal country in the world.
The small population has certain advantages. Icelanders have a strong collective belief that they need to work harder to keep up in an increasingly globalised world. They have therefore become a nation of innovators and early adopters, keen to make the most of what they have, and to embrace the advantages of information technology and state of the art communications. Their resourcefulness is evident in making the most of their spectacular natural environment. They have created a thriving tourist sector, managed their bountiful fisheries wisely with smart quotas, leading the way in energy sustainability, and leading the way in energy efficient data centres which make use of their low cost 100% renewable power and the year-round cool air temperatures that reduce energy consumption for computer cooling.
Gagnaveita Reykjavíkur (Reykjavik Fibre Network) builds and runs one of the world’s most advanced and unique True Open Access Fibre Networks. The network is already offering 100% Fibre to the Home (FTTH) connectivity in the City of Reykjavik and will connect every home in neighbouring towns by 2018. The network is rapidly increasing its footprint, in order to connect more businesses, government buildings and other organisations. The network offers gigabit connections to homes, which are easily upgradable to 10 gigabits in the very near future.
The network is the most wonderful dream come true. The average internet connection worldwide is just 3.5 megabits per second and in many developed countries the average is just above 10 megabits per second. In Reykjavik you can easily get 500 megabits per second. That incredibly fast speed isn’t just a one-way download speed. It is symmetrical, so it has the same speed up and down. In countries like the UK, many major broadband providers described download speeds of 76 megabits as “superfast”, but by Icelandic standards that is “superslow”.
Reykjavik Fibre Network is Open Access, which means that it can be used by multiple providers, offering multiple services, even at the same premise at the same time. Consumers could for example buy their voice services from one provider, their broadband and television services from another.
Ultra-high bandwidth and maximum flexibility with high penetration are three good reasons for implementing smart cities, smart communities and the internet of things in Iceland, using our Reykjavik Fibre Network. There are also other reasons you should bring your solutions to Reykjavik or use it as a test bed:
- Already 100% FTTH connections in the City of Reykjavik.
- 100% FTTH connectivity to surrounding towns by 2018.
- Rapidly increasing fibre connections FTTP to businesses, government and other organisations.
- Already gigabit connections, easily upgradable to 10 gigabit if required.
- Strong desire to be leaders in smart cities, smart communities and internet of things.
- Good support from local and national government.
- Opportunity for rapid implementation and roll out, with short decision making timeframes.
- Ready-made, world class, open access network, available for your use immediately.
- Small enough user base to be easily manageable, but large enough to be significant and representative of other western countries.
- Population with above-average willingness to adopt new technologies, solutions and ideas.
- Low-cost data centres should they be required.
- Exceptional Customer Service.
Reykjavik Fibre Network (known as Gagnaveita Reykjavikur locally) is owned by Reykjavik Energy, Iceland’s largest multi-utility company. Reykjavik Energy generates renewable electricity and hot water for heating in geothermal power plants while also supplying its customers with ultra-high quality fresh water and operating the sewerages.
Reykjavik Fibre Network does not compete with service providers. We focus on our own strengths which are operating our state-of-the-art open access network and providing exceptional service to all our partners, and all our consumers and customers. Because we have a mission to enhance the lives of citizens and improve conditions for businesses and communities, we have a very good track record of reinvesting our profits to make sure our network is world class and as future-proof as possible. At the end of the day, our ultimate beneficial shareholders are the people of Reykjavik city, who are also our primary end user customers.
We believe you will not find a better place in the world to launch your smart city, smart community, and internet of things technology, than Iceland. We would be happy to support you, by partnering with you, to give you access to our state of the art true open access fibre network. If you are interested, please contact me:
I look forward to hearing from you.
Erling Freyr Gudmundsson
CEO of Reykjavik Fibre Network