A new submarine internet cable is set to connect Europe and Asia, running an unconventional route through the famous Northwest Passage.
As per a memorandum of understanding signed by US telco Far North Digital and Finnish counterpart Cinia, the Far North Fibre will extend 16,500km under the sea, docking in Norway, Finland, Ireland, Alaska and Japan.
By avoiding lengthier routes and cross-connection to terrestrial networks, the new fibre optic cable is set to significantly reduce the optical distance between Asia and Europe, with positive effects on both capacity and latency.
TechRadar Pro has asked the duo for confirmation of the additional capacity the cable will provide.
An unconventional route
The Northwest Passage is a famous sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean through the perilous Arctic Archipelago.
According to the Britannica entry, the quest to navigate the passage was “one of the world’s severest maritime challenges”, one that took hundreds of years to surmount due to the inhospitable conditions.
Traditionally, underwater web cables connecting Europe and Asia have run through the Suez Canal. The alternative is to cross over the United States by linking into terrestrial networks, but this method increases latency and introduces additional points of failure. The Far North Fibre, however, will take an entirely novel approach.
Although a handful of submarine cables have already been laid in Arctic waters (at least one extends even further north than this one), the new cable will be the first to navigate the Northwest Passage, which will almost certainly pose sizeable challenges from an engineering and logistics perspective.
“There is an increasing demand for secure and fast international connectivity with new diverse routes. Spanning three of the world’s latest internet adopting continents, the Far North Fibre will be a true global venture,” said Ari-Jussi Knaapila, Cinia CEO.
At this juncture, Cinia and Far North Digital estimate the new cable will go live in 2025, but in reality the picture won't become clear until construction begins.
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Via The Register
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Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.