The prospect of a subsea cable through the Russian Arctic got a significant boost yesterday. The Finnish provider Cinia and the Russian provider MegaFon have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to form a joint venture aimed at finally making what was once a crazy idea reality.
The proposed cable would take the lower latency Arctic route between Europe and the financial markets of northern Asia, complementing the limited terrestrial options available as well as the more popular subsea cables through Singapore to the south. Cinia already has a modern cable between Germany and Finland of course, providing a starting point from which the JV would need a short terrestrial segment across northwestern Russia before dropping beneath the Arctic waves all the way to the Bering Strait past Alaska and turning south toward Japan.
Cable systems through the Arctic have long been considered and rejected due to the expense and complexity of building and maintaining fiberoptic cables in that part of the world. But not only is the icecap retreating, the deep pockets of the big content and cloud providers combined with their obsession with diversity is making previously uneconomical ideas economical.
Yet when it comes to the Arctic we are still waiting for the stars to align properly. Sooner or later though it will probably happen.
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