submarine communication cables

  • 45

The Arctic is changing. Global warming and thawing permafrost alter its terrain and also – as they just finished US researchers—underwater ice sheets. Most of the derivatives of this transformation are negative and have a serious impact on the planet; but they also change the rules of the game in areas and in unexpected ways.

In international telecommunications, for example.

As the ice cover in the waters of the Arctic becomes weaker and opens up new possibilities, surrounding countries are in the race to lay submarine cables.

opening horizons. What reveals The Wall Street Journal, the loss of ice cover in the waters of the Arctic is opening up new opportunities in the region and is fully entering the geopolitical board of the environment. Companies from Alaska, Finland and Japan, as well as Russian leaders, have already set their sights on the possibilities offered by better digital infrastructures now that the creation of a new route is more feasible as a result of warming and thawing.

The area is attractive, of course. The geographical distance between continents is less in the Arctic and this can be a decisive advantage when it comes to laying a cable and opting for faster communications. What points out TWSJ, an Arctic route would enable a London bank to transmit data 30-40% faster to Tokyo than using the current channel across Egypt. That plus would be interesting in the defense field, the energy sector or also research.


Far North Fiber Express Route.

The importance of submarine cables. Undersea cables play a crucial role in communities. It is estimated that they channel more or less 95% of all intercontinental voice and data traffic. Today there are more than half a thousand already active or planned, including the SeaMeWe-3of 39,000 kilometers, or the FLAG/FEAthe longest of those that take land In our country. In the portfolio there are new ones with a relevant role at the communications and geostrategic level, such as the new international connection that is expected to link the Philippines and California.

Submarine cables are not important only because of their overwhelming impact on the economy or scientific research. They also present a clear drift in geopolitical key. Control over the channeling of international data is, after all, an important form of power.

The disputed waters of the Arctic. The possibilities opened up by the reduction of the ice cover when creating a new route have not taken long to capture the interest of the northern countries. The company Alaska Far North Digital LLC plans to build a cable through the Northwest to link the Atlantic with the Pacific in collaboration with Cinia Ltdfrom Finland, and the Japanese Artery Networks Corp..

Its objective is to start work in a year and for the infrastructure, Far North Fiber, to be operational before the end of 2026 with a 14,000-kilometre submarine fiber optic system that would run between Japan and Europe. Your investment: €1 billion.

The Alaskan company and its partners are not the only ones who have set their sights on the attractive northern scene. The Russian state firm Morsvyazsputnik also wants to lay a 12,650 km cable around its north and east coast. The area has a key strategic value that seems to have increased as changes in the Arctic open up new horizons for it. “With the probable admission of Finland to NATO, as well as that of Sweden, communities will be enabled that we would not otherwise have,” explains to TWSJ Far North Digital co-founder Ethan Berkowitz.

Taiwan receives 95% of its Internet through submarine cables vulnerable to China.  Now she fears being isolated

A growing demand. “The demand for secure, fast and expansive international data transmission capacity continues to grow. Annual global IP traffic will reach 4.8 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2022. In 2017, the annual run rate for global IP traffic was 1.5 ZB per year,” explains Far North Digitalwhich recalls that many transoceanic fiber optic systems are now reaching the end of their useful life after some two and a half decades in service.

“Now, seasonally ice-free passages across arctic seas make the shortest, lowest latency, and most robust fiber optic paths available to diversely link northern cable infrastructure and telecommunications hubs,” ditch the firm.

The complicated task of laying cables in the Arctic. While the loss of ice may make things easier, laying submarine cables in the Arctic remains an arduous task. The temperature of the water and the icy layers determine, for example, how many months a year can be worked and the movement of the plates can also compromise the fiber itself, which has already led interested companies to look for formulas that keep the submarine laying protected.

Images | Thomas Robertson (Unsplash)

The Arctic is changing. Global warming and thawing permafrost alter its terrain and also – as they just finished US…

The Arctic is changing. Global warming and thawing permafrost alter its terrain and also – as they just finished US…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.