Lattelekom, which owns a majority share in a Baltic subsea optical cable (the minority owner is Sweden's Tele2) has just pumped up the bandwidth on this pipe to 10Gbps from an earlier 622Mbps. The company installed a repeaterless Siemens solution on the ca. 300 kilometer long link from Ventspils in Latvia to Nynäshamn in Sweden. The jazzed up fiber is expected to go commercial very soon, with Lattelekom convinced it will fill enough of the pipe to pay off some EUR 1 million spent on the upgrade.
One reason is that Lattelekom expects internet use and bandwidth consumption to rise with plans for boosting the last mile of its own Home DSL service to 10 Mbps in urban areas later this summer (probably). Add to that the rising mobile internet services and others (enterprises) using data transmission links, and you have the potential source for all that demand.
Meanwhile, Latvian cable TV/internet and fixed telco mogul Peteris Smidre's Baltcom Fiber plans to upgrade its current 2.5 Gbps to 2x2.5 Gbps, or a total of 5 Gbps (probably lighting up another pair). This link to Sweden via Gotland will also be repeaterless and cover around 103 km on the Latvian coastline to Gotland stretch (the other link is, I believe owned by Stokab of Sweden). Smidre, who started and later sold what is now the Tele2 mobile operator in Latvia (it was once Baltcom GSM), bought his 100 km of sophisticated fishing line (glass?) from a Dutchman who laid and buried it in the seabed and then was stuck holding the bag/roll or whatever because Foco 16, a rather dodgy "Powerpoint Company" put together by some Russian and Dutch entrepreneurs, fell apart and failed to pay. Smidre is said to have picked up the fiber link for a song (but the name was already taken :) ).
As things now stand, the price per Mbps is said to be reasonable and stable in this region, despite the more than tenfold jump in Lattelekom/Tele2's sub-Baltic capacity. There will apparently be enough demand to pay off the upgrade.
Music while this was written: Creedance Clearwater Revival, Mustang Sally, The Doors, Five to One, Jimi Hendrix, Lover Man, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Mona, Rage Against The Machine, Kick Out The Jams (MC5 Cover), Lou Reed, Sweet Jane (one of a number of versions)