Trans-Arctic Cable Consortium to Connect Asia to Europe via Alaska

Oct 27, 2022

The proposed route of the Far North Fiber trans-Arctic cable.

The proposed route of the Far North Fiber trans-Arctic cable.

Far North Digital

The company that built fiber optic cable from Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay is setting its sights far to the east and west. Far North Digital is forming a consortium with international partners to build a trans-Arctic cable connecting Japan to Europe.

Far North Fiber

Cinia of Finland and ARTERIA Networks Corporation of Japan are teaming up with Far North Digital, an Anchorage-based company co-founded by former legislator and mayor Ethan Berkowitz.

The joint development corporation, Far North Fiber (FNF), anticipates completing more than 10,000 miles of cable by the end of 2026. Alcatel Submarine Networks has been selected to build and install the submarine cable and equipment.

“Far North Fiber will be the first multicontinental cable system through the Arctic,” says Cinia CEO Ari-Jussi Knaapila. “It provides a backbone that offers enhanced opportunities for economic development, international security, and a greener footprint for the buildout of global digital infrastructure.”

“The FNF is to build a network that directly connects Europe and Asia with low latency through the Northwest Passage, and Japan will serve as the gateway to Asia,” says Koji Kabumoto, president and CEO of ARTERIA. “It is our pleasure to be involved in this journey, as the project is expected to contribute to the development of digital societies in Japan and Asia in a wide range of fields, including industry, academia, and culture.”

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Far North Digital COO Guy Houser thanked the partners for joining the consortium. “Far North Fiber represents a unique partnership which is going to improve Arctic infrastructure, lead to greater scientific understanding of the environment along the route, and build closer relationships for the connected regions and communities,” Houser says.

The trans-Arctic cable project notably does not include Quintillion, another Anchorage company that has been planning to extend its fiber ring around the Alaska coast with new cables to Japan and to Europe via Canada’s Northwest Passage. Those phases are still in the development stages.

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