The Ministry of Transport, the Federal Agency for Sea and River Transport and the Federal State Unitary Enterprise Rosmorport launched the construction of the transarctic underwater communication line from Murmansk to Vladivostok. The construction is carried out in accordance with the presidential decree from October 26 "About the strategy for the development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation and ensuring national security for the period until 2035." The project is evaluated at 65 billion rubles.
The communication line will be over 12,500 kilometers long, excluding its branches that will reach out to settlements, whereas the throughput of the fiber-optic cable is expected to be 52-104 Tbit/s.
The implementation of the project should help in the development of port infrastructure along the Northern Sea Route. The project will also create digital infrastructure for the production and transportation of hydrocarbons in the Arctic and provide high-speed Internet to areas of the Arctic coast and the Far East, where only satellite Internet is currently available.
The contract for the construction of the line was signed in 2019. To date, offshore and engineering surveys have been carried out along half of the future line. It is expected that the first section of the network from Teriberka to Amderma is to be launched in 2021, and the entire line is to be built in 2026. The project is aimed at connecting government agencies and residents to the Internet, but the high bandwidth of the line will also make it possible to provide services to commercial customers.
After the project is complete, the line will provide communication for geology researchers, who transmit large data volumes.
Last year, Russian mobile operator MegaFon and Finnish company Cinia announced plans to build a communication line from Helsinki to Tokyo along the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Investments in this project were evaluated at as much as 1.2 billion dollars (60-91 billion rubles). As part of the project, it is planned to ensure the transit of traffic from Europe to Asia and build Internet communication lines to settlements of the Arctic and the Far East.