The construction of the fiber optic communication line from Murmansk to Vladivostok is scheduled to start in late May – early June. This was announced on 20th April at a press conference by the Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Alexander Poshivay. It was also decided that the project should be advertised in the media under the name “Polar Express” (former “Arctic Link”)
With the issuance of a construction permit, work is scheduled to begin in late May 2021 to lay the fiber optic cable, which will run along the entire Arctic coast of Russia from Murmansk to Vladivostok.
Nine vessels will be used in the laying operation, including two cable-laying vessels. A 6-fiber optic cable for data traffic of 100 terabits per second will be laid over a distance of 12,650 kilometers to transmit data between European Russia and Asia.
It is planned that the fibre optic cable will be buried 1.5 m into the seabed to ensure its safety. If this is not possible for geological or other reasons, it is encased in armouring that can withstand a tensile strength of up to 50 tonnes.
The submarine laying begins north of Murmansk and leads via the Barents Sea into the Kara Sea and further along the Northeast Passage to the Bering Strait. Connections are made to Dikson, Tiksi, Pevek and Anadyr. Further land stations will be set up in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and further south in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Nakhodka before the fibre optic cable ends in Vladivostok.
The trans-Arctic fiber optic cable is expected to be in operation by 2026. The laying work is divided into two time periods. The western section, starting at Teriberka near Murmansk and heading east, is scheduled for 2021 to 2024, while the further section across the Bering Strait to the final destination will be laid in the period up to 2026.
The project is implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Transport and FSUE “Rosmorport” and FSUE “Morsvyazsputnik” subordinate to this agency.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal
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