Far North Digital/True North Global Networks and Cinia have announced intentions to build a fiber optic cable system that will connect Europe and Asia across the Arctic. The project will be designed and installed by Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN).
The shared fiber optic network will extend from Japan to Europe via the Northwest Passage, including stops in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic along the way. Norway, Finland, and Ireland are all planning landings in Europe.
“This cable system is more than a way to speed and improve the security of telecommunications between nations, it is a bridge over the digital divide, providing Northern communities with better opportunities for sustainable self-determination through economic development, enhanced educational options, and improved access to healthcare,” said Guy Houser, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Far North Digital. “Furthermore, it will serve as a platform that offers science a new and enhanced ability to conduct research into climate change.”
16,500KM Fiber Optic Cable
The 16,500-kilometer fiber optic cable line passes through geopolitically and seismically stable regions, reducing the optical distance between Asia and Europe and lowering signal delay.
True North Global Networks is collaborating with Indigenous groups and municipal governments in Arctic Canada to create branch landings that will connect locally owned networks to the global Internet.
“There is an increasing demand for secure and fast international connectivity with new diverse routes,” said Ari-Jussi Knaapila, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Cinia. “In Asia, the main gateway for the cable system is Japan. Spanning three of the world’s largest Internet adopting continents the Far North Fibre will be a true global venture.”
In-service cable is expected to be available by the end of 2025. The project is expected to cost around 1.48 billion Canadian dollars. Project leader ASN, which is owned by Nokia, until now has completed the deployment of over 650,000 km of optical undersea systems throughout the world, enough to round the globe 15 times.
“The Arctic connection between Japan and northern Europe has long been a shared passion of Japan and Cinia, as the diversity of international connections is vital to the island country,” said Jun Murai, Professor at Keio University and Special Adviser to the Japanese Cabinet. “This connection provides excellent support for the Japanese government’s digitalization development program.”