Far North Fiber Formed to Tackle Arctic Cable Project

October 26th, 2022 by · Leave a Comment

The ongoing attempts to build subsea fiber through the Arctic Ocean have reached a new stage. Finland’s Cinia Oy, Alaska’s Far North Digital, and Japan’s ARTERIA Networks have teamed up to form a joint development corporation to drive the project forward.

The new company is called Far North Fiber, and the latest plan calls for a 17,000km cable system to be ready for service by the end of 2026. It will connect northern Europe with Japan via the Northwest Passage through the islands and icebergs of northern Canada, around Alaska, and down through the Bering Straight. Alcatel Submarine Networks will be doing the heavy lifting to build and install the cable system.

Cinia’s early plans called for a path through the Russian Arctic, but I’ll bet they’re glad they didn’t go too far down that path given the current global environment. But will it happen this time? As always, the question is where the financing will come from.

Basically, either there will need to be driving forces either from sovereign nations or from the hyperscalers to balance the risks involved. The business model for the cable is not as easily understood as a more traditional TransAtlantic or TransPacific cable, nor is the physical route the cable would take.

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