The Italy-Greece 1 (IG1) fiber cable is a 169km repeaterless submarine cable connecting Otranto in Italy with Aethos in Greece.
The IG1 fiber cable was ready for service in 1995, owned by WIS Telecom. WIS Telecom was born as M-Link International Gateway of Orascom companies. In November 2016, UNIFI communications., a leading US-based international telecommunications carrier, acquired 100% of WIS Telecom.
The IG-1 fiber cable hasn't been utilized to its full potential, due to its unusual origin alongside an Italy-Greece undersea electrical power cable.
Both the submarine electrical power cable and the IG-1 submarine fiber optic cable illustrated were constructed by Pirelli in 1995 for TERNA, the largest independent electricity transmission system operator in Europe.
As a result, the IG-1 fiber cable does not have the traditional arrangements found with most undersea fiber cable systems, such as cable landing licenses issued by national (telecommunications) authorities, purpose-built beach landing facilities, and purpose-built cable stations. At the time, TERNA’s primary objective was the construction of the power cable from Italy to Greece, and the installation of the IG-1 fiber cable was secondary. In other words, the IG-1 fiber cable was built at the same time as the power cable to satisfy TERNA’s long-term internal communications needs for the power cable.
Within the IG-1 cable, TERNA included plenty of extra fiber, which suggests they may have been planning to sell dark fiber to third parties. As it turned out, TERNA sold the entire IG-1 fiber cable to WIND Italy and retained only a few fibers for their own internal use. At the time, TERNA made an agreement with WIND Italy to extend some of the fibers to reach WIND’s nearest Point of Presence (PoP) from the TERNA landing site, which primarily serves as TERNA’s electrical substation for the power cable. Subsequently, WIND Italy transferred the ownership of the IG-1 fiber cable to its subsidiary, WIS Telecom. But WIND did not extend all of the spare IG-1 fibers out from the TERNA power substation, leaving many dark fibers stranded and unused at the landing facilities in Otranto, Italy, and Aethos, Greece.