Iraq’s first commercial data centre will be ready in mid-December according to Munaf Sabeeh, chief executive officer of Scopesky Communications. The fibre-optic internet service provider (ISP) has built the data centre at Baghdad airport for security reasons.

Iraqi Telecoms & Post Company will take a 20-30 per cent revenue share and has the rights to sell the capacity.

“The data centre is connected to two gateways – Saudi Arabia and Turkey – and we hope to sign up Jordan soon as the third gateway,” says Sabeeh.

Several commercial companies have signed up to use the centre, which will act as local servers to store data. Scopesky is working with the Communications and Media Commission, the industry regulator, to help issue .iq domain names to the companies that sign up.

The Iraqi government is also planning to use the data centre to host e-government services. Scopesky is working with various ministries to set up the services.

The company has also won the contract to lay down the fibre-optic cables for five universities in Iraq to provide broadband capabilities. The first, Tikrit University, will be finished by the end of December. Work will then begin at the universities of Baghdad, Al-Haytham, Ibn Rushd and Kufa. Scopesky will lay down the cables and connect all five universities together under the same network.

The company won a $3m contract to lay the fibre-optic cables for Baghdad Airport, which will link Iraqi Airways with the External Affairs Ministry. Work will begin at Basra airport within the next few months. Both airports will eventually be linked together under the same fibre-optic network.

“We are hoping to create a fast-speed network to connect these services together and enable the different parties to collaborate with ease,” adds Sabeeh.