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Shrinking Arctic ice redraws the map for internet cable connections

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Politico or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: The Arctic's rapidly melting ice opens up possibilities for new subsea internet cable routes, offering alternatives to the current, vulnerable paths through regions like the Baltic and Red Seas 
• The Far North Fiber project proposes a 14,500-km cable connecting Europe to Japan via the Arctic, capitalizing on thinner ice for installation and natural protection against sabotage

🔭 The context: Climate change is warming the Arctic nearly four times faster than the global average, reducing sea ice by about 13% each decade
• This transformation allows for the installation of infrastructure previously hindered by thick ice, like the Far North Fiber internet cable
• However, it also introduces new logistical challenges, such as potential damage from ice scouring and the difficulty of repairs in icy conditions

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: The project reflects a double-edged sword of climate change, where melting Arctic ice, a clear indicator of global warming, simultaneously poses new strategic opportunities and challenges
• While it can enhance global connectivity and provide more secure data transmission routes, it also highlights the urgent need to address the underlying issue of climate change

⏭️ What's next: With an anticipated operational date of 2027, the Far North Fiber cable is poised to reshape global internet infrastructure, offering a faster, more secure route for data transmission between continents
• Its success could pave the way for further exploration and utilization of Arctic routes, changing the geopolitical landscape of international communications

💬 One quote: "Nobody wants to cut a cable under the ice, it's really hard to do," (Ethan Berkowitz, co-founder of Far North Digital)

Click for more news covering the latest on climate change


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