Developments in the very special archipelago known as the Faroe Islands continue to take the most fascinating turns. Before I get into that, though—first, a warm welcome to all our readers, wherever you are! Now, reporting from the Faroese business scene doesn’t seem to get any easier with time, and this is our 13th volume in a series that keeps on keeping on. Just when we thought we’d seen it, heard it, written it all—things happening in that tiny country in the Northeast Atlantic go beyond your imagination.
The completion of the third underwater tunnel—the incredible 11.24 kilometer, three-legged fixed link between the capital Tórshavn and the island of Eysturoy—has passed the halfway mark and is expected to be completed in 2020. And work is now underway, too, on the country’s fourth huge underwater tunnel, the 10.7km fixed link between the island of Streymoy, home to Tórshavn, and the island of Sandoy to the south, scheduled for completion in 2021.
Experience shows that the two existing underwater road tunnels—the 4.94km Vágatunnilin between Vagar and Streymoy, opened in 2002, and the 6.3km Norðoyatunnilin between Eysturoy and Klaksvík, opened in 2006—have had and are still having a very tangible impact on communities, with dramatically increasing interconnectedness opening new doors and whole new opportunities arising, whether economic, cultural or otherwise.
Meanwhile, importantly, internet connectivity in the Faroe Islands has claimed the world’s top spot with highest wireless internet speeds offered anywhere. A year ago, this was a new plan and its roll-out was ongoing; today that unmatched connectivity is a reality. And not only that: from what we’ve learned, Faroese Telecom is now looking to have fibre optic cable available to every household.
Being that small as a nation clearly has its big advantages—it makes it possible to move quickly in areas where other nations will need much longer time spans. Road infrastructure is one example; internet connectivity another; crucial changes to public policies yet another, as seen in the aquaculture business. Less than two decades ago, the Faroese fish farming sector was facing an existential threat; yet quick and resolute action could be taken, much thanks to the fact that the Faroes is such a tightly knit society and, crucially, that the actors in the industry have maintained an exceptional level of collaboration and coordination, which in turn has enabled highly effective communication with legislators and regulators as well. Two decades ago salmon from the Faroe Islands lagged behind the competition; today, it’s recognized worldwide as number one.
Have a good read.
Búi Tyril, Editor in Chief & Publisher