Wow! What an island! What a telecoms company!

I have been talking about the Falkland Islands taking an Exponential Approach rather than taking an Incremental Approach to improving Internet services in posts such as The Enigma of the Falkland Islands National Broadband Strategy or as I would like to call it, National Internet Strategy. Is this such an outrageous approach to adopt? I think not,  I’d like to show how some other small islands have taken this adventurous approach with a passion and with great to success to the benefit of their islanders. Top of the class are the Faroe islands.

The Faroe Islands are located near Icelend and here is a short 10-minute video by the Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Faroese Telecom which I think you will find it exceedingly inspiring. It shows what can be achieved with the right approach and attitude.

Here are a few quotes from the video.

  • “We have done what we have done not because it makes business sense but because it is the right thing to do”.
  • “We do not want to be on par with any other country; we like to be ahead”.
  • “It should be possible to do the impossible”.
  • “We want to be #1 so why limit ourselves?”.
  • “We are not settling for 1Gbit/s as everyone else does but 10Gbit/s to every home.
  • “We want to be the first country in the world to deploy 5G and have already achieved 1Gbit/s download in the labs”.
  • “We have 100% geography coverage and 4G mobile and coverage 120kM out into the sea”.

Jan Ziskasen, CEO of Faoese Telecom, Artic Circle 2018 Assembly

Taking an exponential approach was certainly risky for the Faroe Islands but where will this place them in the modern connected world? Guess what they believe? I can only agree.

Yes, the Faroe Islands have a population of 49,750 making financing easier than the Falkland islands, and their geographic location makes connecting to the wider world easier but so what?

It’s not about technologies, or “can the island afford it” or “if we increase capacity will it be used”, but the attititude they take and I really, really like that. It’s an attitude of ‘can-do’; “we want to be the best” and “we will be the best”. Organisations that take that view usually succeed in their visions. I love it.

Don’t you think every isolated island should have this vision, attitude and ambition?

Chris Gare, April 2019 Copyright:

3 Replies to “Wow! What an island! What a telecoms company!

  1. “We have done what we have done not because it makes business sense but because it is the right thing to do”

    What a lovely approach to a problem.

    1. Interesting article Chris and quite a fascinating approach. It seems to me (and do feel free to correct me if I am wrong) that the chap in the video does say that the business model or business case doesn’t stack up – in other words, it is an altruistic aim ? I think I am right in saying that the telecomms company is nationalised and if that is the case, then I can see how politics can over-ride the “business case”, and have no problem with that. Same as many public utilities that are run at a loss. But my real question is – how can they fund these types of huge investment given that they seem to rely on fishing for over 90% of their GDP. My understanding of the Faroes is negligible but maybe they are receiving some EU subsidy or something else ? I would be very interested in seeing a few financials and where the funding stream comes from.

      One point that does make complete sense is the extension of mobile coverage to include up to 120 miles off-shore and thereby take in all of the crew on the fishing vessels. As long as it is cheaper than using – for example, VSATS on boats,then the market size increases (in the case of the Falklands) by a good few thousand more. A point worth considering for us?

      Would welcome more info….

      1. It is interesting to see that two GSM service providers operate in the Faroe Islands: Føroya Tele (Faroese Telecom) and Hey. Together they cover most of the islands. It’s not just a cliche that competeition brings out the best in companies and organisations and that monopolies generally achieve the opposite. The focus of the first is to provide the best services and customer service to build market share, while the latter if often about focusing on maintaining revenues, profit levels and minimising cost. It’s called capitalism.

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