Connectivity in the Arctic: Far North Fiber One Step Closer to Pan-Arctic Connectivity

Far North Fiber Cable Route
Far North Fiber’s plans call for a 15,000 km system that would connect Japan to both Finland and Ireland via the fabled Northwest Passage. Along the way it would offer connectivity to Arctic destinations in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. (Illustration: Far North Fiber)

Far North Fiber plans a route study to define the fastest and most secure route for a Submarine cable system directly connecting Scandinavia, North America, Ireland and Japan through the Arctic region.

The Far North Fiber project, which aims to build the first pan-Arctic submarine cable system connecting Europe and Asia via North America, takes a step forward with the start of the cable route study.

The planned cable system will run from Japan, via the Northwest Passage, to Europe with a landing in Alaska. European landings are planned in Norway, adjacent to Finland, and Ireland. There are also several branching units designed along the route to accommodate future branch connections in the Pacific, Canadian Arctic, and Atlantic.

It is estimated that the approx.15,000 km long submarine cable system will be operational by the end of 2026. The project has received funding from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility (CEF Digital).

The Cable Route Study (CRS), along with the marine survey, is said to be a critical component of the project. The results will be used to define the best route for the Far North Fiber cable system in terms of safety, reliability, cultural and environmental factors, and economics. The cable route study will be completed in 2023.

Ari-Jussi Knaapila
Ari-Jussi Knaapila is Chief Executive Officer of Cinia. (Photo: Cinia)
Ari-Jussi Knaapila is Chief Executive Officer of Cinia. (Photo: Cinia)

The results of the CRS will support the upcoming marine survey, also scheduled to begin during 2023.

“We are very pleased to see the constantly growing interest in the FNF project from our key stakeholders, such as customers and investors as well as states and communities along the route. The cable route study is a concrete and exciting step forward and it is delightful to see how these steps ahead in the project interest the market”, says Ari-Jussi Knaapila, CEO of Cinia, in a press release.

Arctic aspects of the Cable Route Study, such as ice analysis, will receive focused attention, considering the unique trans-Arctic route. Significantly, the Far North Fiber system runs entirely through international waters and the maritime boundaries of Japan, the United States, Canada, and EU nations.

The Far North Fiber (FNF) project is carried out by the international joint venture Far North Fiber Inc., formed by Finnish Cinia Oy Finland, American Far North Digital and ARTERIA Networks Corporation from Japan. The cable route study of the project will be carried out in cooperation with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN), as leading technology partner and contractor for this project.

About Far North Fiber:

  • Far North Fiber, Inc. was established 2022 to develop of a submarine fiber optic system connecting Asia and Europe through the Arctic.
  • The partners of Far North Fiber, Inc, are Finland’s Cinia Oy, Alaska’s Far North Digital and Japan’s ARTERIA Networks Corporation.
  • Far North Fiber will promote a submarine cable system that aims to realize a faster and more secure route directly connecting Japan, North America, and Ireland and Scandinavia.
  • Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) Fully owned by Nokia, is the principal supplier for the Far North Fiber project.  ASN provides all elements of turnkey global undersea transmission systems, along with marine and maintenance operations performed by its fleet of cable ships.

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