13.8.2021 | Russia Begin Laying Its First Undersea Fiber Optic Cable
Russia on Friday begins laying its first undersea fibre optic communications cable through the Arctic as part of a state-run project to bring high-speed internet to its remote hydrocarbon-rich north after a private-led initiative stalled – according to Reuters.
Moscow is aiming to improve patchy communications and infrastructure in its far north where it has expanded its military presence and is developing the Northern Sea Route to become a major shipping lane.
The cable link, due to be completed in 2026, will pass 12,650 kilometres (7,860 miles) over Russia's long northern coast from the village of Teriberka, on the Barents Sea, to the far eastern port of Vladivostok.
Dubbed the "Polar Express", it will be operated by state-owned company Morsviazsputnik to supply stable internet in Arctic port towns as well as the Kamchatka peninsula and Sakhalin. Alexei Strelchenko, head of the cable-manufacturing and laying company, said it will cost 65 billion roubles ($889 million) and be financed exclusively by the state.