The European Union will build a new fiber-optic communication line between Europe and Asia


The European Union plans to build a new fiber-optic communication line between Europe and Asia.

Thus, the Far North Fiber project will consist of 14.5 thousand km of cable that connects Europe and Japan through the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. Landing sites will be located in Japan, the USA, Canada, Norway, Finland and Ireland.

The new project is estimated at €1 billion, which is significantly higher than the cost of other routes. The EU has already invested around €23 million in the initiative as part of CEF Digital.

Sea ice is shrinking by almost 13% every decade. This opens up new routes for Internet cables that are laid along the ocean floor. Such highways carry the majority of international data traffic.

Far North Digital chief strategy officer Ick Icard said that summer warming allows ships to lay cables in the Arctic, while winter cold spells limit damage. At the same time, ice can make cable repair difficult. Depending on the time of year, it may take weeks or even months for the line to be restored. Ice drift can also be a threat.

According to him, the short cable route will provide less delay in data transmission.

After completion of marine research, Alcatel Submarine Networks will begin production of components and bring them to market by 2027. Then the project will be launched.

Far North Digital co-founder Ethan Berkowitz intends to get more governments involved in the project.