According to Izvestia.ru (via Telegeography), Polarnet just cleared another hurdle as Russia’s Telecoms ministry has come to an agreement with the government regarding a rather important detail: the money. The cable system, if it does get built, would go from Bude in the UK through Murmansk, Anadyr and Vladivostok and connect up to Tokyo after about 17,000km. The pricetag is apparently pushing $1B at this point, and so the real question is just what the money situation does look like.
But if this effort does get off the ground, we could be looking at not one but two cables transiting the Arctic sea floor, as the Arctic Fibre project on the Canadian side seems to be gaining its own traction. The benefits would include much better regional connectivity for the few hardy folks that live up in the Arctic Circle, lower latency, and a way around that obvious bottleneck in Egypt . But it’s still rather difficult to imagine the underlying economics are ready to support this sort of thing, so it will be a matter of which politicians are willing to throw a billion or so dollars under the waves for long term return.
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